Police dogs do the same dangerous work that human police officers do. They dive into danger and confront armed criminals. So why did Beny, a Montville, Ohio police dog, die in the back of a hot, unventilated police car?
Beny's partner Sergeant Brett Harrison left Beny, a trained German shepherd, trapped in a kennel in the back seat of his vehicle during a heat wave. When Harrison returned to the car, Beny was dead. Harrison is still on the police force after an investigation found him guilty only of misdemeanor cruelty. He paid a fine of $500 and lost some vacation time. Obviously, Beny is the only one who will pay the full price of Harrison's neglect.
Police departments who use dogs must learn to treat these hard-working animals with the care they deserve. Montville Township Police Department should implement better training of those officers who work directly with police dogs. Officers must be trained not to leave dogs in hot enclosed spaces, and they must understand that dogs must have access to fresh water at all times. Please join with me in demanding better training for Montville Police so that this tragedy will never happen again!
Dear Chief Grice:
We the undersigned are appalled that Beny, a German Shepherd police dog on your force, died in the back of a police vehicle. It appears that he died of heat exhaustion because he was trapped in a kennel in a hot unventilated car for four hours. While we do realize that Sergeant Harrison, Beny's human partner, has apologized, we feel that a $500 fine is an insufficient deterrent. Police personnel who work with dogs must learn the basics of good dog ownership. One cardinal rule is never to leave a dog in a car with the windows sealed on a hot day. Please implement a training program for your police officers who work with police dogs.