“This was a police officer, so he had some brains, if the car had an alarm to alert officers with dogs of high internal temperatures; chances are all the officers knew of it, what it was for & that it ONLY worked when engine running. What part of the above didn’t he understand?? Some may think I’m being a tad harsh on the guy, but it was his job to care for that life, in his car! What was more important to make him turn the engine off & leave it off, which killed the dog! Perhaps it was his lunch break. Unpaid suspension & no other dog, excuse me if I don’t jump for joy!”
The Des Moines Register says an internal investigation laid out discipline recommendations for Officer Brian Mathis. Harley, a 7 year-old yellow lab died August 29 after Mathis left him in an unmarked car at the police station for over an hour.
In addition to the suspension, Mathis won’t be eligible for another dog.
“He’s taken full responsibility,” said Des Moines Police Chief Judy Bradsaw. Mathis “recognizes the consequences, he’s living with them everyday. It was not his intent to ever leave the dog in the car.”
Mathis’ car had an alarm system to protect police dogs from the heat, but the system only works if the car is running.
The Des Moines Register reports that the department will buy a new system that can pop the doors or start the engine and alert officers if temperatures reach a dangerous level, even if the car isn’t running.
“These are dog people, they love animals,” Bradshaw said. “Anything I do to (Mathis), it won’t be as severe as what he’s doing to himself.”