PRATT, Kan. (KSNT) – A Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism K-9 was killed after the patrol vehicle she was kept in on patrol stalled, causing the indoor temperature to rise to dangerous levels.
On August 6, Tibbie, a Labrador Retriever, was on patrol with her game warden handler, Adam Pack, when he was conducting business that did not involve K-9 assistance.
Following the standard practice, Tibbie was secured in a patrol vehicle that was locked with the engine running.
The vehicle stalled, and while all KDWPT vehicles that carry K-9s are specifically designed to lower the windows and engage fans if the engine stalls and the cabin temperature reaches a certain threshold, this one malfunctioned, causing the inside temperature to rise to dangerous levels.
She was given emergency medical treatment by Pack and a local veterinarian before being rushed to the Veterinary Health Center at Kansas State University where she ultimately passed away.
“K-9 handlers have a bond with their animal that is as strong as any human partner, and this team was no different,” KDWPT Law Enforcement Division director Col. Jason Ott said. “These K-9s aren’t just a law enforcement asset, they’re also a friend and colleague. We feel for Adam and the loss he’s experienced, and the impact this has on the K-9 program and law enforcement division.”
The patrol vehicle was taken out of service immediately and the thorough investigation that was conducted and completed on Friday.
The KDWPT Law Enforcement Division is conducting a check of all vehicles that carry a K-9 officer, and modifying K-9 program procedures and officer training to help prevent such an incident from occurring in the future.