The accidental death of the Perry County K-9 dog who died after being locked in his handler's patrol car overnight has many people calling for his job.
About three weeks ago, Napo, a 3-year-old Belgian Malinois, was found dead in the patrol car. His handler, Steve Verret, had apparently forgot the dog was in the vehicle.
Reaction from around the state from animal advocates and others has been one of shock and anger.
"Certainly it was a very unfortunate situation all the way around," said Katherine Sammons, Founder Mississippi Animal Advocate Group. "I have known a lot of K-9 officers in my time and that all have been really great people who love their animals and treat them like family. I'm sure this officer feels terrible about what happened."
When news of the death hit the Internet Thursday hundreds of people responded with outrage, thinking it unbelievable that Verret could forget the dog was in the car. Many called for him to be fired and charged with neglect.
"I think he needs to get a misdemeanor neglect charge. I'm absolutely certain this was not intentional on the officers part and like I said his family and him are suffering. But there does need to be consequences."
The cause of the death was never determined. Sheriff Jimmy Dale Smith said it could have been heat exhaustion or a heart attack. An official funeral was held for the animal.
"It's very unfortunate that a necropsy wasn't performed because that leaves everyone with the assumption that it was from heat exhaustion or heat stroke when in fact it may possibly be from something else."
After the incident Verret was reassigned to another position. Attempts to reach Sheriff Smith Friday for comment were unsuccessful.
"I absolutely know the Perry County Sheriff's Department will do the right thing. I'm confident they will take every aspect into consideration and do what's right for the community and the animal."
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