A police dog in Gulf Shores, Alabama did not survive being locked up in a hot patrol car.

Mason, the K-9 officer who recently turned 3, was accidentally left behind during a hurricane preparedness conference. According to a statement, the dog's handler Corporal Josh Coleman forgot about him being in the backseat. Upon noticing Mason's absence, he discovered him in the car. The dog was rushed for medical attention, but would end up passing away due to respiratory failure.

The police department pointed out that protective measures are normally in place for an enforcement K-9. The patrol cars are equipped with remote heat alarms and water bowls. Unfortunately, Mason was not an enforcement K-9 with a role of serving the community. His normal duties did not include long periods in the car. This resulted in the handler's car not being equipped with heat protection.

No criminal charges are being pressed at this time. Some feel the handler should be held accountable. GSPD Lieutenant Bill Cowan commented in a statement, "An arrest was not appropriate at that time. The investigation is ongoing. Once the investigation is complete, a Grand Jury will perform a review of the facts and determine if any criminal conduct has or has not occurred."

GSPD Sergeant Jason Woodruff pointed out in the statement how this tragedy "illustrates how easy it is to become distracted, and how quickly heat can affect those that we love that are particularly vulnerable to it. Please keep this in mind when transporting children, pets, or the elderly."

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