The accidental death of a K-9 officer in Perry County, Mississippi has led to residents calling for the local deputy involved to be fired or charged.
WLOX-TV reported on Friday that the controversy began after it was revealed that Napo, a 3-year-old Belgian Malinois used by the Perry County Sheriff’s Department, died after being left in his patrol car overnight by his handler, Deputy Steve Verret.
“So who gets charged for Napo’s death??????? [sic]” one resident asked on the department’s Facebook page. “Funny no comments from you on this page-that is how this dog was remembered??? Shame on you all.”
Sheriff Jimmy Dale Smith told the station on Thursday that Verret had been reassigned, and that the dog may have died from heat exhaustion or a heart attack.
However, according to local animal rights advocate Katherine Sammons, no necropsy was performed on Napo, preventing a definitive answer.
“I think he needs to get a misdemeanor neglect charge,” Sammons said of Verret. “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.”
A thread on the department’s page that had a picture of Napo seemed to have been deleted by Saturday night.
Watch WLOX’s report on the anger surrounding Napo’s death, aired Friday, below.