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Texas Police Dog Dies After Being Left in Hot Patrol Car

Deputy Latham Roldan left his police dog in a car for 20 hours as temperatures sizzled to near 100 degrees, and the animal died, officials said.

Police K9 Dies In Hot Car

Aug. 13, 201501:10

A Texas sheriff's deputy has been fired and an investigation is underway after he forgot to take his police dog out of his patrol car on Sunday, and the dog later died, authorities said.

Latham Roldan was a seven-year veteran of the Jim Wells County Sheriff's Department and a three-year trainer to police dog Jola, the sheriff's department said.

"When he went home from work, he just left the kennel" inside the car, sheriff's Capt. Joe Martinez told NBC News. "It was a case of negligence."

Jola, a Belgian Malinois, was trapped in the car for nearly 20 hours as temperatures in Alice, Texas, soared to 99 degrees. The dog was found dead in the vehicle Monday, Martinez said.

"There's no excuses," Jim Wells County Sheriff Oscar Lopez told NBC affiliate KRIS. "There's no excuses."

A Texas deputy may face charges after leaving drug-sniffing police dog in vehicle for at least 20 hours.Courtesy of Alice Echo-News

The police dog's death comes just weeks after a Georgia police dog died after being left in a hot patrol car. A similar situation also happened in Alabama earlier this summer.

On Thursday in Wisconsin, a sheriff's office police dog died after being left in a deputy's air-conditioned car when the air conditioning malfunctioned, the Brown County Sheriff's Office said in a statement. A heat alarm in the deputy's car also failed.

Martinez said the sheriff's department would be making changes and putting new policies into place to prevent the situation from happening again.

"We are going to be checking on them to see that is everything OK. Then let them check with us at the end making sure everything is OK," Lopez told KRIS. The department's handlers take police dogs home with them and are responsible for their care.

Criminal charges could be filed. The sheriff's office turned the case over to the local prosecutor's office for review. The Jim Wells County Attorney's Office did not immediately return a request for comment Thursday.

Martinez, who fired Roldan, said the sheriff's office never had any problems with the Roldan, and the deputy and his police dog had a good bond.

"He was very remorseful," Martinez said. "It hit the department pretty hard."