MADISONVILLE - Madisonville Police and the Texas Rangers are investigating the death of a K-9 officer.
Baron, a Belgian Malinois, was found dead Friday in the back of his handler’s patrol car. He had served with Madisonville PD since June 2012. The dog was used for tracking, narcotics detection, and fugitive apprehension. His body was transported to the Texas A&M Vet School for an autopsy.
The department asked the Texas Rangers to conduct an independent investigation.
Chief Chuck May calls the death a “tragic accident” and says “policies and procedures are being reviewed to see what we can do to prevent incidents such as this from taking place in the future.”
May would not say how long the dog was left in the car or if it had gotten hot inside, but temperatures were in the low 90's in Madisonville before the cold front arrived Friday.
Corporal Gary Laws, the dog’s handler, has been reassigned to administrative duties pending the outcome of the investigation.
Chief May says Laws and the rest of the department are mourning the devastating loss.
The department tells us K-9 officers, like Baron, cost $5,000 to $15,000 and take up to a year to train. The department’s other K-9 officer, Gunny, went missing for several hours last month.