A K-9 in Mississippi died in a hot car after the vehicle’s engine shut down, authorities said.
Dex, the K-9, was left inside the Hinds County deputy’s vehicle while the deputy, Lafayette Martin, went inside of a restaurant to eat his lunch on Thursday.
The engine of the 2016 Chevy Tahoe shut down during the lunch and the dog died within an hour, officials told Mississippi News Now. The cause of death was a heat stroke.
Major Pete Luke told the broadcaster that Dex, a 6-year-old Belgium Malinois, was the county sheriff department’s top drug-detecting officer, recovering over $600,000 in combined assets during his career.
After the death, the sheriff authorized equipping vehicles with K-9s with alarms that are designed to sound if the interior of the vehicle gets too hot.
According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, people in general shouldn’t leave dogs unattended in a vehicle.
“The temperature inside a vehicle can rise almost 20 degrees in just 10 minutes. In 20 minutes, it can rise almost 30 degrees, and the longer you wait, the higher it goes. At 60 minutes, the temperature in a vehicle can be more than 40 degrees higher than the outside temperature. Even on a 70-degree day, that’s 110 degrees inside the vehicle,” the association said in a press release.
“Even on a day that doesn’t seem hot to you, a vehicle can quickly reach a temperature that puts pets at risk of serious illness and even death. Cracking the windows makes no difference,” it said.