A Cincinnati police officer has been placed on administrative leave for leaving his police dog unattended in his vehicle where the dog eventually died from heat exhaustion. The dog's death is under investigation, said the police department.
Spc. Brian Trotta, a 13-year decorated veteran of the department, left the dog, Juno, behind while he rushed to a family medical emergency Thursday, Cincinnati police said in a statement.
One of Trotta’s children is undergoing cancer treatment at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, according to a “CarePage” set up by family.
Juno's death was also announced on a Facebook page set up for Cincinnati's K-9 Unit.
Trotta has been assigned to the canine unit since April 2009, said Cincinnati Police. Cincinnati police use their canine force for routine patrols, explosives detection and narcotics detection. Juno was trained to sniff out narcotics, according to police.
Trotta is a 13-year veteran of the police department and a decorated officer. He was honored in 2008 with an Ohio Attorney General’s Distinguished Law Enforcement Award for his contribution to investigating the “Grimey Network,” which solved seven homicide cases in the city.
He was also awarded an Act of Bravery Award in 2006 from the Hamilton County Law Enforcement Community’s Police Appreciation and Achievement Awards for his efforts Dec. 29, 2005, when he was shot in the knee by a man wanted for aggravated robbery.
Police did not release details about how long the animal was left in the car or what time the incident occurred. Temperatures reached 96, but felt more like 105 degrees with the humidity Thursday, according to the National Weather Service.