Cobb County K-9 officer dies of heat stroke, AC in cruiser malfunctioned, police say

The Cobb County Police Department said that a police K-9 died of heat stroke while in a patrol car this week. (Source: Atlanta News First)
Published: Jun. 6, 2023 at 12:19 PM EDT|Updated: Jun. 6, 2023 at 2:03 PM EDT
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ATLANTA, Ga. (Atlanta News First) - The Cobb County Police Department said Tuesday that a K-9 officer died of a heat stroke while in a patrol car during training.

Just after 2 p.m. Monday, officers were holding an active shooter training at Allatoona High School when K-9 Chase died. His handler, Cobb County police officer Neill, attempted life-saving measures before the dog was taken to a nearby emergency veterinarian.

“But the efforts were not enough to save him, and he succumbed to his heat-related injuries,” police said in a statement.

They said officers had been at the training since 11 a.m. and were checking on the K-9 officers regularly before the air conditioning malfunctioned.

“At some point after the previous check, the air conditioning system malfunctioned in Officer Neill’s patrol vehicle,” police said.

Preliminary information indicates that “other safety systems did not properly activate and the temperature quickly rose in the vehicle.”

“This is a horrible incident and our investigators are continuing to gather information regarding the vehicle system failures that led to this tragedy,” police said, adding that K-9 Chase would be getting a necropsy on Tuesday.

Chase was a Belgian Malinois born in Hungary on August 13, 2018. He began his career with the department in April 2020 with Officer Neill.

Chase was a dual-purpose K-9 trained for narcotics detection, criminal apprehension, tracking, building searches, and evidence recovery, the department said, adding that he seized “thousands of dollars worth of illegal narcotics, with numerous arrests and apprehensions.”

Chase was named after fallen Locust Grove Police Officer Chase Maddox, who died in the line of duty on February 9, 2018, just days before he was born, they shared on social media.

Just last week, a Clayton County K-9 officer died after he “suffered a medical emergency while inside the patrol vehicle at the Atlanta Airport.” They did not say his exact cause of death.

Return to Atlanta News First for updates on this developing story.