Demand Justice for Dog Found Dead in Police Cruiser

Target: Chief Michelle Morris of the Sebastian Police Department, Florida

Goal: Help ensure that an officer who allegedly allowed his K-9 partner to die in a police cruiser is punished if found guilty of negligence and that department policies and training be reviewed.

A police dog was recently found dead inside a cruiser after it was left outside of a Florida courthouse for several hours in temperatures nearing 90 degrees Fahrenheit. The dog, a German shepherd named Diesel, was a member of the Sebastian Police Department’s K-9 division and had served for only a year. The officer reportedly left Diesel in the car while he was away, during which time the dog suffered and eventually succumbed to the extreme heat.

This dog’s death was completely avoidable and must be brought to justice. Under no circumstances should a police dog, or any animal, be left alone in a closed vehicle for any duration of time. Even mild outdoor temperatures of 70 degrees can cause the internal temperature inside a vehicle to raise by 20 or more degrees after only 10 minutes. On the day Diesel died, local weather stations reported a high temperature of 88 degrees, likely transforming the police cruiser into a lethal deathtrap within minutes.

Dogs often mask their discomfort until it is far too late, so police officers must be educated in better ways of handling dogs and ensuring that they are not subjected to the horrible fate Diesel endured. The officer in this incident must be investigated and brought to justice for his negligence if found guilty and must not be allowed to work with police dogs in the future. Sign this petition to tell the Sebastian Chief of Police that deaths such as Diesel’s are cruel and unnecessary and must not be allowed to occur in the future.


Dear Chief Morris,

The recent and tragic death of a police dog in your department’s K-9 division has highlighted a serious animal welfare issue involving dogs and hot cars. According to some reports, perhaps thousands of dogs each year die horrible and painful deaths after they are left unattended in vehicles, and these deaths are entirely preventable. Dogs such as Diesel deserve better, and those officers who are charged with looking after them must be held accountable for their well being.

I urge you to fully investigate this matter and ensure that the officer responsible for Diesel’s death be punished to the maximum extent possible if found culpable for this act of cruelty and barred from working with police dogs in the future. All officers must also be instructed never to leave a dog unattended in a police vehicle under any circumstance so that incidents such as this are brought to an end.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Sebastian Police Department


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  1. Laurel Galvan says:

    What happened to the police cruiser used for K9’s temperature warning unit. When we had K9 in South Florida, the vehicles were all equipped with Temperature sensors that sent a signals to an handlers remote on his/her utility belt, along with a K9 door opening remote, additional we always opened the hood so the car would not over heat with the engine and A/C running. A small police department that cannot afford these sensors, remotes, cooling K9 vest and bulletproof K9 vest should not have K9s. I seriously doubt the officer did this on purpose and I would hold the Chief or Sheriff liable for not properly equipping the patrol car with necessary temperature sensor alarms. RIP DIesel.

    • I was just about to type this. While unfortunate, it is not on the officer. If anything, change policies stating they can be left in the vehicle any time the officer leaves without someone else watching.

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