UNITED STATES NEWS

Former Iowa deputy pleads guilty in hot-vehicle death of police dog

Dec 12, 2023, 2:06 PM

AMES, Iowa (AP) — A former Iowa deputy has pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge after a police dog under his care died inside a hot police truck.

Dallas Wingate was a sergeant for the Boone County Sheriff’s Department in September 2022 when investigators said the police dog named Bear was left inside Wingate’s truck for 22 hours. In an agreement with prosecutors, he pleaded guilty to misdemeanor animal neglect with serious injury or death, the Des Moines Register reported Monday. A felony charge was dropped.

The plea agreement recommends 18 months of probation and an $855 fine.

Wingate found Bear dead on the evening of Sept. 2, 2022. He told investigators he had put the dog in his truck around 10 p.m. Sept. 1 because the dog was barking at a deer, according to documents related to a search warrant.

Wingate said he only remembered doing so after he went outside to feed his other dogs around 8 p.m. the next night and didn’t see Bear among them.

The high temperature on Sept. 2 was 89 degrees Fahrenheit (31.7 degrees Celsius), which would have sent the temperature inside the truck well over 100 degrees Fahrenheit (37.7 degrees Celsius).

Wingate was placed on administrative leave after the dog’s death, and he resigned Sept. 8, 2022.

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Former Iowa deputy pleads guilty in hot-vehicle death of police dog