MULDROW (KFSM) - A K9 has died as the result of a heat stroke, according to the Muldrow Police Department.
K9 Zeke had been with the department more than four years.
The dog was inside of a patrol unit for longer than an hour on July, 24, 2015. Officer Robert Allen got into work at 4 p.m. and left Zeke in the vehicle with the air conditioner running, according to Chief George Lawson. A domestic battery report kept Allen on the phone for an hour and 15 minutes. When the officer eventually returned to the 2014 Chevy Tahoe, he discovered it had malfunctioned and was only blowing out hot air.
Sequoyah County Sheriff's Office Chief Deputy Charlie House said the investigation is ongoing.
In a preliminary report, House stated in part: "I told Chief Lawson that I have been a K9 handler for over 5 years and that it was not uncommon for me to leave my K9 in my unit with the air conditioner running while I am in the office working on paperwork. I also told Chief Lawson that the County is having some problems with the air conditioners in our Tahoe's."
House ended the report with this statement: "I told Officer Allen that in my opinion there was nothing that he could have done and that it could have happened to any K9 Officer. I told Officer Allen that I as a K9 Handler was going to learn from this."
Muldrow Police released the following statement on its Facebook page:
"It is with great sadness that we inform our residents of the passing of our K9 Zeke. Zeke was seven years old and worked for MPD for over 4 years. Zeke assisted in over a hundred alerts over his career resulting in numerous drug arrests. Zeke passed as a result of heat stroke from a malfunctioning patrol unit. Thank you to the many individuals, businesses, and Cherokee Nation who assisted with donations in obtaining the funds to purchase him. Zeke will be missed and I ask for your thoughts and prayers for Brad Roberts and Current handler Robert Allen who are missing their partner."