Updated Jul 12, 2012 - 6:05 pm
DPS dog left in hot car euthanized
An Arizona Department of Public Safety dog was euthanized Thursday afternoon after being left unattended in a hot squad car in Tucson the previous day.
"That decision was made by the Canine District Commander based off of the advice from the veterinarian hospital that his mental function and body function was declining in a way that there was no way to turn him around and get him back to a healthy condition," said DPS spokesman Officer Carrick Cook.
The drug-sniffing dog 'Jeg' was left behind by his partner, Officer Korey Lankow, and Lankow is distraught, Cook said.
"[Lankow] is very attached to this dog. As an agency, everybody that I've talked to who knows is upset and hurt by it. It's one of our family members."
Cook said Lankow did not leave Jeg's side after he was removed from the car.
Cook said it appeared that the Belgian Malinois Jeg's condition was improving but he took a turn for the worse overnight.
The decision was made quickly to put Jeg down when veterinarians believed the dog was beginning to suffer.
Jeg was left unattended after Lankow was switching patrol cars. Lankow was immediately sent to a rollover crash, and realized on the way that he had left Jeg behind.
When found, Jeg's temperature was extremely high.
The Arizona Daily Star reported that DPS has asked Tucson police to conduct a criminal investigation in the case.
Lankow is currently on paid administrative leave.
"The Department of Public Safety expresses sincere appreciation to the initial responders at DPS who provided immediate care for Jeg; to the Tucson Fire Department for going above and beyond in looking after Jeg and Officer Lankow; and to the doctors and staff of the Southern Arizona Veterinary Specialty and Emergency Center for the extraordinary care they have provided and the kindness they have shown to all those who have been so concerned about Jeg during this tragic incident," a statement from DPS read.
KTAR's Martha Maurer contributed to this report.
Jim Cross, Reporter