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Missouri K-9 officer dies after being left inside hot car overnight: 'Tremendous loss'

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A beloved Missouri K-9 officer died after reportedly being left in a hot car overnight following the end of his shift in Savannah. 

The Savannah Police Department confirmed to Fox News Digital that K-9 Horus died on Thursday after completing his overnight shift.

“On Thursday, June 20, the Savannah Police Department and the entire community suffered a tremendous loss,” Police Chief David Vincent said in a statement. 

K-9 Horus had served as a member of the Savannah Police Department for over three years, according to FOX 4.

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K-9 officer Horus

Officers in a small Missouri town in Andrew County are mourning the death of their K-9 companion, Horus. (FOX 4/Savannah Missouri Police Department )

“Horus’s death is currently being investigated,” Savannah Chief of Police David Vincent said in a statement to Fox News Digital. “Due to this being an open investigation, there will be no further information released until the investigation is completed. The entire department would appreciate your thoughts and prayers, as we deal with the loss of our partner, Horus.”

Andrew County Prosecuting Attorney Monica J. Morrey told Fox News Digital that their office is currently investigating this case.

“The Andrew County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office is deeply saddened to learn of K-9 Horus’ passing. We are grateful to him for his service to our community. I have requested a special investigation through the Missouri State Highway Patrol. I will await the results of this investigation prior to making any determination of necessary action,” Morrey said. 

The name of the law enforcement officer responsible for K-9 Horus’ death has not been released as it is an ongoing investigation.

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K-9 Officer Horus

The Savannah Police Chief confirmed the death of K-9 officer as an investigation into his death continues.  (Savannah Missouri Police Department)

It is also not known what consequences the caretaker of K-9 Horus will face or if the death will be ruled intentional or an accident. 

FOX 4 reported that the maximum temperature on Thursday was 90 degrees, with the low being 70 degrees outside.  

According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, research indicates that the temperature inside a vehicle can go over 100 degrees in a half-hour, even if it’s only 70 degrees outside.

In May, Republican state Sen. Tony Luetkemeyer’s Bill 754, also referred to as “Max’s Law” passed the Missouri House of Representatives. The bill increases penalties for injuring and killing animals in law enforcement.

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St. Joseph Police Officer Lucas Winder (L) and Sen. Tony Luetkemeyer (R)

Sen. Tony Luetkemeyer listens in 2023 as St. Joseph Police Officer Lucas Winder testifies in support of Max’s Law. Officer Winder was Max’s K-9 handler when the police dog was killed in the line of duty. (Senate.mo.gov)

“I am happy to see this priority legislation make it across the finish line,” Luetkemeyer said when the bill passed. “This bill protects our diligent K-9 officers and the public they help protect.”

If signed by Governor Parson, Luetkemeyer said he hopes for Max’s Law to go into effect within the next few months.

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“These heroic animals put their lives on the line every day to protect the public and their human partners,” Luetkemeyer said in a previous statement. “The law should protect them.”

It is unclear if this law would come into play in the case of K-9 Horus’ death.

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