Coalinga Police K9 Nitro dies after being found lethargic in outside kennel

Chief Garza says the Coalinga Police Department plans to honor Nitro with a ceremony in the near future.

Kassandra Gutierrez Image
Wednesday, July 10, 2024
Coalinga Police K9 Nitro dies after being found lethargic in outside kennel
The Coalinga Police Department is mourning the loss of one of their canines, Nitro.

COALINGA, Calif. (KFSN) -- The Coalinga Police Department is mourning the loss of one of their canines, Nitro.

The half-German Shepherd and half-Belgian Malinois was four years old and joined the department in March 2022.

He was found in his outdoor kennel at his handler's home early Monday morning.

"He was found by the handler, looking real lethargic. They didn't know what was wrong. They tried to cool him down, then took him to the emergency, where he died," explained Coalinga Police Chief Jose Garza.

It came after a weekend where we saw dangerously high temperatures.

However, only a necropsy can determine the official cause of death.

The Coalinga Police Department is doing an internal investigation to ensure the animal's care was within policy.

While K9s ride in air-conditioned cruisers during their shifts, Chief Garza says they stay in outdoor kennels at their handler's home when they are off the clock.

"All these pins that are done are made on the outside of the residence with a cement pad, and the fence with a roof and everything. They tend to their K9s with plenty of water, food, and what's needed to keep them," mentioned Chief Garza.

However, Nitro had not been on the job for several months because his handler had been out on workers comp.

During his time at the department, Nitro was a part of the narcotics team and helped with several arrests.

Nitro was one of two police dogs at the department.

"Right now the department is definitely mourning the sadness of Nitro, a very good K9," expresses Chief Garza.

Chief Garza says the Coalinga Police Department plans to honor Nitro with a ceremony in the near future.

For now, they will focus on the investigation into his death.

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