A Des Moines police officer has been given a three-day unpaid suspension for the death of his police dog.
The Des Moines Register says an internal investigation laid out discipline recommendations for Officer Brian Mathis. Harley, a 7 year-old yellow lab died August 29 after Mathis left him in an unmarked car at the police station for over an hour.
In addition to the suspension, Mathis won’t be eligible for another dog.
“He’s taken full responsibility,” said Des Moines Police Chief Judy Bradsaw. Mathis “recognizes the consequences, he’s living with them everyday. It was not his intent to ever leave the dog in the car.”
Mathis’ car had an alarm system to protect police dogs from the heat, but the system only works if the car is running. The Des Moines Register reports that the department will buy a new system that can pop the doors or start the engine and alert officers if temperatures reach a dangerous level, even if the car isn’t running.
“These are dog people, they love animals,” Bradshaw said. “Anything I do to (Mathis), it won’t be as severe as what he’s doing to himself.”