Second Hero K-9 Dog Dies in Hot Patrol Cars – Known Police Tech Glitch Fix Could Have Prevented It All


A police K-9 dog has died in a hot car for the second time this month after a car system designed to alert officers of an air conditioning failure did not work as intended.

Police in Houston informed the public on Monday that one of its service dogs had died after it was left in a department cruiser.

The Houston Police Department described the loss of a 4-year-old K-9 officer as a “tragic accident” that was the result of multiple factors.

“On June 12, 2023, we lost a member of our K-9 family in a tragic accident,” the department said in a statement. “Houston Police Department K-9 Aron, 4 years of age with 1.5 years of police service at the department, passed away from heat exhaustion.”

The department said the officer who left Aron in the car, which is a common practice between calls, did everything right.

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“The handler left Aron in a running, air-conditioned patrol vehicle, which is a necessary and common practice when the K-9 partner is not actively engaged in police work,” police said.

But when Aron’s handler returned to the patrol car, a catastrophic failure was discovered.

Police said:

“When Aron’s police handler returned to the vehicle, it was discovered that the engine had shut off and Aron was in distress. He was transported to an emergency veterinarian clinic but ultimately succumbed to the heat.

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“HPD K-9 vehicles are equipped with a system that notifies the handler, sounds the horn, activates cooling fans, and rolls down the car windows, if for some reason the vehicle shuts down.”

On Monday, that system failed to work as designed. Numerous complaints have been made about system glitches issues since 2021.

The department is currently investigating why the alert system failed in an attempt to prevent a future tragedy involving a department K-9 officer.

Police assured the public that every car in the department will be inspected to ensure their systems are in working order.

In the meantime, the department asked for prayers.

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“Please keep Aron’s handler and the entire K-9 team in your prayers as they mourn the loss of Aron,” the police statement concluded.

Aron’s tragic death follows the hot car death of another K-9 officer in Georgia last week.

WAGA-TV reported a K-9 officer named Chase with the Cobb County Police Department died on June 5 after his handler was assigned a different car.

For an unknown reason, the department said the car’s air conditioning went out.

Chase was found unresponsive and later died.

Police said a safety system that should have alerted Chase’s handler of the malfunction failed to do so.

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Johnathan Jones has worked as a reporter, an editor, and producer in radio, television and digital media.
Johnathan "Kipp" Jones has worked as an editor and producer in radio and television. He is a proud husband and father.