Lake Station, Indiana – Days ago, nearly a dozen dogs, said to be future police K9s, died in the back of a box truck after the air-conditioning system failed. According to the Lake Station Police Department, on July 27, 19 dogs were picked up at Chicago O’Hare International Airport and loaded into a truck destined for a Michigan City, Indiana, K9 training facility.
During the drive, the air-conditioning system failed and the temperature in the cargo area climbed to a deadly level, causing heat-distress, and death, to ten of the dogs. The driver was unaware that the cooling system failed and did not realize there was a problem until he heard barking from the cargo area.
The authorities said:
The driver stopped the vehicle at the Road Ranger on Ripley Street and entered the cargo area. Once inside the the cargo area, he observed the canines in distress and began to remove the canines who were crated.
Multiple agencies responded after a 911 call was placed. The authorities described the scene as “chaotic,” and stated that it took an emotional toll on those involved. The agency said:
Any loss of life is tragic and thoughts and prayers are with all those that were affect by this “freak event.”
No charges were filed. The police explain:
The Lake Station Police Department believes after speaking with the person (s) involved that this was not an act of animal cruelty or neglect but a mechanical failure of the AC unit that was being used in the cargo area.
The Humane Society of Hobart also responded to the scene, but they say they were turned away, despite arriving with cooling vans and animal care and control vehicles to transport the dogs to safety. The shelter’s Executive director, Jenny Webber, tells Local 12 News:
“because we were asking for that paperwork, it seemed to make the owner mad, and so, he said that he would not allow us to help.”
Several dogs on the transport had to be hospitalized. They are in the custody of the shelter until the owner can provide the “proper paperwork.”