Police dog Ivy roasted to death in force vehicle during 78F heatwave

Police dog Ivy roasted to death in the back of a force vehicle after an officer left her inside for more than two hours during 78F summer heatwave

  • Officer returned to car in Worcester to find canine unresponsive and tried CPR 
  • Months before, dog was at centre of West Mercia Police row over her retirement 
  • Thousands signed petition to allow handler to keep Ivy when he left the force 

A police dog roasted to death in a patrol vehicle when an officer left it inside to attend a training session during the summer heatwave, an investigation has revealed.

Police dog Ivy, five, died from heatstroke after it was left in a police vehicle with a broken fan on July 5.

When the officer returned to the vehicle in Worcester, he found Ivy unresponsive and attempted CPR, including mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.

Ivy (pictured with handler David Evans) died after being left in a hot car during the summer heatwave this year

The dog was rushed to a vet’s on blue lights but the decision was made to put Ivy to sleep.

A post mortem revealed Ivy died from Disseminated Intravascular Coagulation, brought on by heatstroke.


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Just months before its death, the tragic pooch was at the centre of a bitter row after West Mercia Police refused to let it retire with its then handler David Evans.

Thousands signed a petition to allow Mr Evans to keep the Malinois-German Shepherd but the force insisted the dog was still useful to the force.

Months before her death, Icy was at the centre of a row about whether she should be allowed to retire along with David Evans (pictured) 

An investigation by Staffordshire Police today highlighted 17 failures by West Mercia’s dog handling section.

One failure included the fan in the back of the dog section vehicle being faulty which contributed to PD Ivy falling ill.

What can happen to a dog locked in a car during warm weather?

  • Heat can rise dramatically inside cars, causing dogs to suffer fatal heatstroke  
  • If you see a dog in distress you can call the RSPCA 24-hour cruelty line for advice on 0300 1234 999 but if you feel the dog is in serious danger dial 999
  • Symptoms of a dog suffering heatstroke include it panting heavily, drooling excessively or vomiting 
  • Even if the windows are left open or they’re parked in the shade, It’s still a very dangerous situation for the dog on a warm day
  • Be aware that if the situation becomes critical and you decide to  break a window to release the dog you could be charged with criminal damage. You will have to explain you acted with proper justification in court
  • The law states that you have a lawful excuse to commit damage if you believe that the owner of the property that you damage would consent to the damage if they knew the circumstances 
  • If you’re at a shop, venue or event ask the staff to make an announcement to alert the owner of the situation

    Source: RSPCA

Assistant Chief Constable Geoff Wessell, of West Mercia Police, said: ‘PD Ivy’s death was a shock to us all, in particular for those who were with her that day, all of whom remain deeply affected by it.

‘While our police dogs are working dogs and not pets, our handlers have a deep, trusting and loving bond with their dogs and I know how upset they would all have been as a result finding Ivy in this state. I know they acted swiftly to try and save her life.

‘We accept that PD Ivy should not have died as a result of heatstroke and we have learned this very harsh lesson in the worst possible way. We have therefore taken on board everything that the review has identified.

‘As a result of PD Ivy’s tragic death which has highlighted the dangers that hot weather poses on dogs, we recognise that some of our policies and procedures require amending to prevent these circumstances from reoccurring.

‘This is being done as a priority and resulting changes will be communicated to all of our dog handlers.’

In the same month Ivy died, American police officer David Hurt left bomb-sniffer dog Turbo inside his vehicle in South Carolina’s 94F heat.

He did not return to check on the canine for six hours and when he did the animal was foaming from the mouth and had to be put down due to organ failure.

The previous month in Birmingham, Alabama, police smashed a car window to rescue a dog that had been overheating inside for seven hours. It later died.

A London police inspector won Britain’s respect in July by offering a ‘free car ventilation service’ for people who leave dogs in hot cars during the heatwave.

Inspector Richard Berns, from Camden, tweeted a photo of a smashed car window from which he had just rescued a dog.

He wrote on July 3: ‘We offer a free car ventilation service. All you have to do, is leave a dog locked in a hot car, we do the rest.’

It came after five dogs were rescued from scorching temperatures in just two days the previous week as Britain’s heatwave set the mercury soaring.

  

  

 

 

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