Ex-Cop Charged After Accidentally Leaving K9 Dog to Die in Police Car

On September 10, 2023, a former police officer faced misdemeanor charges related to the tragic event in which he unintentionally left his K-9 police dog, Zeusz, in his patrol car, leading to its demise.

A probable cause affidavit states that at around 6 a.m. in Fairmount, Indiana, Kyle James Vincent departed from his shift with Zeusz in his patrol vehicle, having just obtained certification to operate with the dog. After twelve hours, when the officer started his shift at 6 p.m., he found the dog still in the police car’s kennel.

After learning of the dog’s death, the 36-year-old told authorities he fainted and sobbed for twenty minutes.

The officer called Fairmount Police Chief Richard Dollar on September 10 to report that his dog had died as he was getting ready for work, as shown in court papers.

After transporting the dog’s body to a vet, the department’s assistant chief made careful to retrieve Vincent’s badge, duty weapon, and police identification.

There was a temperature alarm on the police car, as far as records can tell.

Vincent allegedly gave investigators conflicting accounts of the dog’s death. Vincent later admitted to abandoning the puppy in the car, explaining that he was struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder and extreme mental disorientation. On the day he departed from Zeusz in the automobile, he claimed to have been feeling depressed and lacked motivation.

Indiana State Police Detective Jonathan Cole stated that Vincent seemed to maintain composure during the interview.

When asked about the wisdom of working while feeling melancholy, Vincent said that he should have told someone about his troubles.

Fairmount Police Department officials first put the officer on administrative leave, but he resigned two days later.

The officer was accused of a severe crime– the cruelty of a vertebrate animal.

Located roughly 1.5 hours outside of downtown Indianapolis, the little community of Fairmount is home to around 2,600 people.