Georgia Police Officer on Paid Leave After K-9 Dies While Trapped in Patrol Car

Georgia Police Officer on Paid Leave After K-9 Dies While Trapped in Patrol Car
Courtesy Conyers Police Department

07/19/2015 AT 11:30 AM EDT

A Georgia police officer is on paid leave after his K-9 partner was left in his patrol car Thursday for about 10 hours, as temperatures broke the 90s, according to multiple reports.

The K-9, Zane, was found dead in his handler's patrol car at about 5 p.m. Thursday, the Conyers Police Department said in a statement on Facebook. Zane had been left in the car for about 10 hours, department spokesperson Kim Lucas told CNN.

Zane's handler, Cpl. Jerahmy Williams, apparently forgot about the K-9 after coming home from his 12-hour shift and, feeling ill, went to sleep, Lucas told CNN.

Williams discovered Zane while heading to work that afternoon, Lucas said.

The patrol car was equipped with a "Hot-N-Pop," according to CNN, which would have alerted Williams to the car's temperature and rolled down the windows. But it is only activated when the ignition is turned on.

"[Williams] truly, truly loves that dog. And for him to know that it was his actions that caused the dog to perish, its going to be difficult for him to deal with," Conyers Police Chief Gene Wilson told 11 Alive.

Zane, a 5-year-old bloodhound, has worked as a tracking dog for CPD for four years, three of those with Williams, according to the statement.

Williams has been with CPD for five years and will remain on leave pending the outcome of an internal investigation, according to the statement.

The Rockdale County Sheriff first responded to Williams's residence and is conducting a separate investigation with its county district attorney, according to the statement.

Some commenters on the CPD Facebook page are calling for Williams to face charges of animal cruelty.

"We are committed to the care and proper treatment of our working K-9s. We are mourning the loss of our own," Chief Wilson said in the statement.
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