Florida K-9 found dead in cruiser parked outside courthouse

- Authorities are investigating the death of a police dog found dead inside a patrol car parked outside a courthouse in Florida.

A Sebastian K-9 handler is off the job with pay while he is being investigated for animal cruelty in the death of his partner, a German Shepherd named Diesel.

On Friday, Melbourne Police say they were called to the home of the K-9 officer by Sebastian police after he discovered the dog deceased in the back of his department issued patrol SUV. The officer was assigned to go to court that day, but it's not clear why or how the dog was put in the car since the officer was not on patrol.

Melbourne investigators believe the dog's death inside the hot SUV is just a tragic accident, but they will forward their findings to the State Attorney's office to determine what, if any, charges will be filed.

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