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Cache County deputy charged after K-9 death

CACHE COUNTY – The handler of a Cache County K-9 is facing one charge of aggravated animal abuse for reportedly leaving the dog in his patrol vehicle for several hours.  The probable cause statement says Endy was in the vehicle while it was parked in an area where there was little to no shade.

The statement also says Deputy Jason Whittier was distraught to see Endy was dead.  “It’s a horrible thing for us, for our agency and specifically the handler,” says Cache County Sheriff Chad Jensen.

Whittier reportedly went home around noon on July 3rd, with Endy in the vehicle.  Later, Whittier went to family functions until roughly 11:30 p.m.  That’s when the statement says he noticed Endy wasn’t in his outdoor kennel.  That’s when Whittier checked the vehicle and saw Endy had died.  Jensen says they have mechanisms that protect their dogs form the heat, however, “It only works when the vehicle is running.  It monitors the temperature, and if it gets too hot while the deputy is out of the vehicle, working a crash, it automatically rolls down windows and turns on fans.”

Jensen says Whittier was given an extended period of time off without pay, and was reassigned to a different department.  In the meantime, the department is hoping to plan a memorial service for Endy sometime next week.  He expects a lot of people to be there since Endy had made so many public appearances.  “The public and law enforcement or anybody who wants to attend is welcome.  We’d love to have a many people who want to be part of that to be part of that with us,” Jensen says.

Some legal analysts say this rises to aggravated animal abuse not just because Endy died, but because of the suffering he went through before his death.