(WTVM) - A K-9 police dog in Woodstock, Ga. was found dead in the back of a police cruiser.
The dog, Spartacus, died of a heat stroke.
There is now an investigation underway to determine if Officer Chad Berry, who handled the dog, was at fault.
"The K-9 lives with the handler. The handler takes care of them 24/7. They're a fixture in the family. It's very much like having a family pet," says Chief Calvin Moss.
According to Chief Moss, the officer has hundreds of hours of K-9 training.
A 2010 Officer of the Year, he recently won 2nd place in a K-9 dog handling competition. Before Spartacus, Berry spent four years with his previous K-9, Atticus, who now lives with them as a family pet.
Berry is now on paid administrative leave while Pickens County Officers investigate to determine in the 12 year law enforcement veteran will face any criminal charges.