K-9 DIES: Police Dog Left In Hot Car

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What Des Moines Police are calling a tragic accident, central Iowans are calling inexcusable.

“We’re going to look into and find out exactly what the circumstances were that led to Harley passing,” said Sergeant Chris Scott with the Des Moines Police Department.

Harley, a Labrador retriever worked as a K-9 officer with the department’s vice and narcotics unit.

He was often used at the airport and post office and contributed to federal investigations.

“Harley was a great dog both professionally and with his personal characteristics.”

On Wednesday, Harley died when he was left in a hot patrol car by his partner and owner, Officer Brian Mathis.

“There is nobody that could be more upset and traumatized by this than Officer Mathis,” said Scott.

Investigators say they don’t know how long Harley was left in the car or if air conditioning was on.

They’ll work to determine that, as well as if Officer Mathis will face criminal charges.

“If it’s a criminal matter, we’ll deal with it as a criminal matter. If that’s what this results in, we’ll deal with it.”

Right now, no charges are pending.

However, Des Moines residents say Harley deserves justice. The same justice he brought to so many suspects.

“He left his dog in the car and that’s neglect. It doesn’t matter who you are,” said dog owner, Dori Braley.

“If they’re going to charge other people for this, they should charge him also,” Steve Hills, a dog owner told Channel 13 News.

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