• Matt Esnayra

LBPD cop who left his K-9 in a hot patrol car for hours won’t face charges in dog’s death

Photo of Ozzy (LBPD)


The LBPD officer, who left a police dog in a hot patrol car, won't be facing jail time after the L.A County District Attorney's Office and the Long Beach Prosecutor's Office declined to file charges, per the LB Press-Telegram.

  • On the day of the incident, the temperature in Long Beach was 88 degrees, but it's unknown where Ozzy, the police dog, died.

  • Ozzy's handler, Chris Thue, is under internal investigation by the LBPD, a spokesperson told the Press-Telegram.

Previously reported:

According to the L.B.P. D, on August 14, 2019, at roughly 3:40 p.m., a Long Beach PD K-9, named Ozzy, died after being left in his handler's patrol car. Both Ozzy and his handler were both off duty at the time of the incident.

  • In a statement provided to MTLB, Long Beach Police Department spokesperson Arantxa Chavarria said, "Our K-9 vehicles are outfitted with fail/safe equipment that is meant to generate an alert. At this time, we believe this alert may not have been working," and the veterinarian saw Ozzy for a medical examination, and "the preliminary results determined the cause of death to be heat-related."

  • What's Next: The L.B.P. D is conducting a "bureau review into all the equipment, our protocols, and circumstances of the accident." and that "all of our patrol K-9 handlers are checking their Heat System Controller prior to every shift and will continue to do so as part of their daily protocols".

  • More Information: In a 2015 news report by the Green Bay Press-Gazette, "Police dogs die from heatstroke more than any other non-medical reason," and from 2011 to 2015, "at least 46 police dogs across the United States died from overwhelming heat while locked inside their handlers cars."

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