Police K-9 dies after being left in hot car following training exercise

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Totti (Photo Credit: Pa. Department of Corrections)

BELLEFONTE, Pa.–A department of corrections K-9 died  last week after its handler left the dog in a hot vehicle for over two and a half hours following a training exercise at SCI-Rockview.

The incident happened on July 7 in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania. The K-9, a 2-year-old Yellow Lab named Totti, was used in the Drug Interdiction Unit, according to Pennsylvania Department of Corrections spokeswoman Susan McNaughton.

At around 2:45 p.m., the handler realized that Totti was still in the hot vehicle. He rushed to the vehicle and began giving the dog emergency aid. Totti was taken to a veterinarian, but later died.

This is the first such incident since the inception of the Department of Corrections Drug Interdiction Unit in 1995, according to a news release from the Pa. Department of Corrections. The DOC has 22 handlers and dogs and is in the process of moving its K-9 training facility from the boot camp to SCI-Rockview.

Following Totti’s death, the director of the Drug Interdiction Unit met with all handlers to review the care and handling of dogs to  ensure this does not happen again. The director is looking into new technology/safeguards to prevent this type of tragedy from occurring again.


12:15 p.m.- Dog handler stored training items in his vehicle at the end of a training session

2:44 p.m.- Dog handler realized Totti was locked in the car. Dog handler and other Drug Interdiction Union staff cooled Totti down with water and carefully placed him in ice to reduce body temperature.

2:58 p.m.- Totti was  placed in truck and driven to vet clinic.

4:15 p.m.- Totti’s body temperature was back to normal, but creatine levels were high; blood sugar was low but being treated; heart rate remained elevated

7:30 p.m.- Totti passed away



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