Officer showed ‘poor judgement,’ says RCMP review

The West Shore RCMP officer who left a puppy baking in a police vehicle is still training service dogs.

  • Aug. 10, 2011 7:00 a.m.

The West Shore RCMP officer who left a puppy baking in a police vehicle is still training service dogs.

An internal RCMP review into the July 6 incident concluded that the officer exercised “poor judgement in the care and safekeeping” of the animal he left inside a vehicle parked at Goldstream Boathouse in direct noonday sun for at least three hours, while he was out on an off-duty boat trip.

According to RCMP E Division spokesperson Cpl. Annie Linteau, the officer was given “written operational guidance” and a record of the incident was put in his file, but he’s continued handling police dogs “with strict supervision.”

The 10-month-old German shepherd involved was in good health after the incident.

Staff at the Boathouse heard the pup whimpering and erected a tent over the hot vehicle to provide some shade and hosed it down to reduce the internal temperature. They also alerted local media, and images of the overheating animal were seen across the country.

Animal rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals called on RCMP to install temperature monitoring systems in canine vehicles.

But Linteau said the review focused instead on better training for officers voluntarily training the animals.

Changes to the training course will be implemented Canada-wide, providing clearer guidance on how to keep the dog from overheating — by leaving it at home rather than in a hot vehicle — as well as how to recognize and treat the signs of an animal overheating.

The review, conducted by West Shore RCMP, will not be released publicly.

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