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DEA probing police dog’s death in car

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Drug Enforcement Agency officials are investigating the death of a police dog apparently left in its handler's car in hot temperatures.

"Lady," a beagle trained to sniff out narcotics for the Drug Enforcement Agency's Metro Task Force, died Friday from heatstroke after being left in a DEA officer's car for several hours in temperatures of more than 100 degrees, according to a prepared statement from the Humane Society.

DEA resident agent in charge, Don Mendrala, confirmed Wednesday morning he was investigating the dog's death but had few details at this point.

"We're going through the investigation now to try and figure out what happened," Mendrala said.

Humane Society officials called the dog's death "inexcusable for a trained law enforcement officer."

Mendrala said he could not speculate on the possible disciplinary action that might be taken against the officer, who worked as an investigator on the DEA's Metro Task Force. The Humane Society will pursue the issue with DEA officials to make sure the officer is "reprimanded with more than a slap on a wrist," Baierschmidt said.

"A crack in the window is not enough. It might lower the temperature from 160 degrees to 130 degrees, but that isn't much. The animal will still suffer," Baierschmidt said.

Contributing: Derek Jensen.

E-MAIL: jcheney@desnews.com