Hondo, a K-9 officer in Independence, Mo., died on July 16 from heat exposure. He was 3 years old.
The German Shepherd was one of the first two police dogs trained at the new Independence Police K-9 training center. Hondo was purchased last year and officially began serving the community in January with Sgt. John Bullard.
Yesterday afternoon, Hondo was sitting inside a police car for about an hour. The vehicle’s air conditioning system, which was left on to keep the dog cool, apparently failed even as temperatures reached 97 degrees outside.
Bullard returned to the police cruiser and found Hondo unconscious. Unable to revive him, Bullard started driving to a local animal hospital. En route, the police car crashed into another motorist. The passenger of that car was taken to the hospital with minor injuries.
One of the patrol officers responding to the accident took Bullard and Hondo to the animal hospital, but the dog was pronounced dead on arrival.