K-9 Inca with Cherokee County school police officer Lt. Daniel Peabody. (Credit: Twitter/MJohnsonWSB)

School police K-9 dies in patrol car

A K-9 dog assigned to the Cherokee County school police died Friday after being left in the rear of a patrol car for several hours, authorities said.

The K-9, a 4-year-old Belgian Malinois named Inca, was assigned to Cherokee school police officer Lt. Daniel Peabody, Channel 2 Action News reported Saturday.

A preliminary investigation indicated that the officer arrived home about 4:15 p.m., turned off his patrol car, and left Inca in the rear, Chief Ron Hunton of the Cherokee County Marshal’s Office said in a media release. The officer went into his home in unincorporated Cherokee County to deal with another dog inside.

About 7 p.m., the officer remembered that Inca was in the patrol car, and he found the dog dead, Hunton said.

The patrol car Peabody used was not one of the force’s K-9 vehicles, Channel 2 reported. The car didn’t have alarms or a kennel.

The officer let another officer use his K-9 squad car, Channel 2 reported. One of the department’s vehicles that was equipped to handle a K-9 dog was out of service.

Inca’s body was to be transported to the University of Georgia for a necropsy, Hunton said. An investigation is ongoing.

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