MELBOURNE, Fla. — A police dog was found dead inside a hot patrol car parked outside a Florida courthouse on Friday.
The Sebastian Police Department officer found the German shepherd, Diesel, dead inside his car outside of the Brevard County courthouse in Melbourne, Fla., WKMG reported. The officer was at the courthouse for a hearing.
It is not known how long the dog was left in the car, but temperatures were about 88 degrees in the area, according to the National Weather Service.
The police department calls it a tragedy.
“Unfortunately and tragically, a Sebastian police K-9 was found expired Friday evening. This was unexpected,” John Blackledge, the commander of operations for the Sebastian Police Department, told WKMG.
“The situation is under investigation by the Melbourne Police Department and the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office Animal Services Unit because that’s where the dog died.
“The Sebastian Police Department will conduct the appropriate administrative investigation subsequent to their independent investigation.”
The officer is off the job with pay while he is investigated for animal cruelty, according to WOFL. Diesel had been with the department for about a year.
Investigators will forward their findings to the Florida State Attorney’s office to determine if any charges will be filed.