PERRY COUNTY, MS (WDAM) - The Perry County Sheriff's Office must replace a police dog after one of its canine officers was found dead in its handler's car.
Napo, 3, a Belgian Malinois breed of dog, was discovered dead in the back of a patrol car after being left in the car overnight.
Sheriff Jimmy Dale Smith says the cause of death is unknown, but the dog could have died of a heart attack or of heat exhaustion.
Smith says the handler has been re-assigned.
Napo was with the department for about a year-and-a-half and was purchased with donations from area businesses. The cost has not been disclosed, but similar dogs cost in the range of $5-$10,000.
The incident happened three weeks ago, but a tip from a viewer helped bring the story to light Thursday.
The dog can be seen on the Perry County Sheriff's Facebook Page here: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Perry-County-Sheriffs-Department/197251873630610?fref=ts