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An officer in Iowa has been under criminal investigation after his police K-9 was killed after being in his patrol car for nearly an entire day. According to experts, it is estimated that the temperature inside the vehicle reached triple digits. According to recent court records, Bear, a police dog who worked as a K-9 officer for the Boone County Sheriff’s Office in an area north of Des Moines, died in September.
According to a search warrant made public last week, Bear died after being left in Sergeant Dallas Wingate’s truck for about 22 hours, from 10:00 p.m. m. from September 1 until 8:00 p.m. m. of September 2.
Dallas Wingate Age
The age of Dallas Wingate was 51 years.
Dallas Wingate charged for death of K-9 kept in hot police truck
Tim Meals, the Story County prosecutor, said both his office and the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation are looking into the matter, as there may be a conflict of interest. Meals and the state Criminal Investigation Division will decide whether to file charges against Wingate. After Bear’s death, Wingate, a skilled K-9 handler, resigned from the sheriff’s office, USA Today reported.
Wingate put Bear in the truck at 10 pm on September 1, according to Marc Ridout, special agent with the Iowa DCI Major Crimes Unit. On September 2, at 8:00 p.m. m., Wingate went outside to feed his other dogs when he realized Bear was not at the outdoor dog park, according to the search warrant. Wingate then recalled that he had put Bear in his police car the night before because the dog was barking at a deer. According to the complaint, the officer saw Bear dead as he was walking to the truck and called Sheriff Gregg Elsberry shortly after. After a necropsy at a nearby animal hospital, Elsberry brought the dog to the Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine.
According to Justin Glisan, Iowa State Climatologist, the temperature that day was 89 degrees. According to Glisan, if it was 89 degrees outdoors, the temperature inside a car would have risen by 130 to 135 degrees in just one hour. Due to the ongoing investigation, state authorities refused to release the autopsy results, which would have identified the cause of death. However, a hot environment inside a car can cause an animal to suffer from heat stroke, which can lead to serious or fatal injuries, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association. The group claimed that even slightly opening a window will not help reduce the temperature inside a car.
The search warrant was first kept secret by Magistrate Adam Hanson, but was made public on December 1. Although the event occurred in Boone County, Matt Speers, the county attorney, requested that Story County take over the case. “When there is an actual conflict or the appearance of a conflict, it is not unusual to ask a neighboring county to take on the prosecution side of the case,” Speers said. “I felt like there might be at least an appearance of conflict.”
Elsberry, the Boone County Sheriff, has just announced his resignation, two years before the end of his term. His resignation has not been publicly explained. He submitted his resignation on November 9 and his last day in office is December 31.