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LOGAN — The Cache County Attorney's Office filed criminal charges against a deputy with the county sheriff's office Wednesday in connection with the death of police K-9 Endy.
Deputy Jason Whittier with the Cache County Sheriff's Office was paired with Endy in 2016 and will be facing one count of aggravated cruelty to an animal, a class B misdemeanor, the attorney's office said.
The Cache County Sheriff's Office announced Tuesday that police K-9 Endy died of heat exhaustion after being left alone in a hot police patrol car.
Whittier and Endy returned home around noon July 3 after a work shift, said Sean Marshall, a special investigator at the attorney's office. Whittier parked his patrol truck near his residence in an area with very limited shade, then left home to participate in family activities, leaving Endy in the truck, according to Marshall.
When Whittier returned home that evening, he realized Endy wasn't in his outside kennel. He went to his patrol truck and found Endy dead inside, Marshall said. He then contacted his supervisor "distraught" to let him know what had happened.
According to the Utah Climate Center, the high temperature in Cache Valley during the time Endy was left in the car was near 94 degrees.
Endy's remains were taken to the Utah Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory and analyzed for cause of death. The lab ultimately determined Endy's death was caused by a fatal heatstroke, Marshall said.
The attorney's office will continue to work with investigators to gather additional facts relating to the case.
“This tragedy serves as a stark reminder to never leave children or animals alone inside of a car for any amount of time, as temperatures can quickly rise to a deadly level,” said Tony Baird, chief deputy of the Cache County Attorney's Office.
This article will be updated with more information as it becomes available.