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Officer Will Not Be Charged For Killing Police Dog After Leaving It In Hot Car

Image Credit: Gabi Neumann / EyeEm / Getty Images

On July 26, David Hurt of South Carolina’s Columbia Police Department left his almost 2-year-old police dog Turbo in a hot police car for six hours. The act eventually resulted in the police K9’s death.

Hurt—like other K9 officers in attendance—decided to leave his dog in the car while he attended active shooter training. The training session featured many loud sounds which may have been unpleasant for canines.

Though he left the windows down and air conditioning on, Hurt failed to activate the car’s heat alarm.

Other police officers with canine partners left their dogs in the car, but frequently visited them to make sure they were alright and were able to go to the bathroom. Hurt never once returned to his vehicle to check on Turbo, shocking many of the other seasoned handlers when the information came to light.

Columbia Police Chief Skip Holbrook says Hurt offered no excuse for his negligent behavior:

“He didn’t give any logical reason.”

It was 94 degrees in South Carolina that day and Turbo succumbed to the heat after being left in the car alone for 6 hours. When Hurt returned to the car for the first time, the dog had white foam around its mouth and was acting “listless.”

Recognizing the symptoms of heat stress, Hurt rushed Turbo to a veterinarian.

2 days later, Turbo had to be euthanized due to multiple organ failure.

Chief Holbrook presented the facts of the case to internal police investigators who concluded that Hurt “used terrible judgment but wasn’t criminally negligent and no charges should be filed.”

Turbo—a bomb-sniffing K9—was Hurt’s first dog. The officer underwent hundreds of hours of training after selection to receive a canine partner.

They had been together for seven months. Turbo’s death represents a loss to the city of around $25,000 in training and various expenses.

Chief Holbrook commented that he did not fire Hurt because the officer “immediately took responsibility for his grave error.” He added:

“It was a mistake of the heart he will have to deal with the rest of his life.”

Holbrook continued, noting that Hurt’s family—especially his children—had come to think of Turbo as a member of the family:

“It’s like losing a partner or a family member. It is devastating.”

As a result of his actions, Hurt received a suspension without pay for 5 days and will never be allowed to handle a police dog again.

H/T – People, The Associated Press


Written by Collin Gossel

Collin Gossel is a writer and comedian living in Brooklyn, New York, but there are nights when he looks up at the stars and wistfully thinks to himself “there’s got to be more out there…” You can catch Collin improvising new musicals every Tuesday night at the Magnet Theater’s Musical Megawatt, or follow his unfiltered thoughts on Twitter and Instagram @CollinGossel.--