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Death of SSU K9 probed
Officer said he fell asleep, inadvertently left dog in vehicle
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Authorities are investigating the July 10 death of a Savannah State University police dog.

According to Rincon Police reports, a Rincon resident and Savannah State public safety officer, told Rincon officers he had stopped to get something for his family to eat, went inside his house, ate and fell asleep. The K9, Sgt. Baston, remained in the car and eventually died.

The officer said when he awoke, he started looking for the K9 before realizing he left the dog inside his police-issued SUV with the windows up and the engine off. He said he pulled Sgt. Baston from the vehicle and rushed him inside to cool off the dog with water, but it was too late.

Since the K9 is a police officer, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation was notified

The dog was left inside the vehicle for about three to four hours without air conditioning or ventilation. Detectives said the outside temperature was between 95 and 97 degrees from 2-6 p.m. that day.

In statements to Rincon Police, the SSU officer and his wife said he came into the house with his hands full of food for them and their two children, a 2-year-old and a 3-week-old. The officer fell asleep because their two young children had been keeping them up day and night and he was exhausted.

The officer said he intended to get his gym bag and Sgt. Baston out of the vehicle after bringing in the food. After getting inside the house, he sat down and ate and fell asleep for about four hours shortly after eating. His wife said they noticed Sgt. Baston wasn’t on its normal spot inside the house, and they searched the house before realizing the dog was still in the vehicle.