(FOX 11) - A K9 was found dead inside his crate Sunday in a specially outfitted police SUV in Hillsboro, Illinois, according to FOX 2.
The temperature inside the vehicle had climbed to a reported 126 degrees.
The deputy who handles "Blitz" left the Belgian Malinois locked in the SUV with the air conditioner running while he went inside to do work, the station reports.
The SUV was equipped with a "temperature safety device designed especially for police K9 vehicles," according to FOX 2.
When the interior temperature climbs above 90 degrees, the device is supposed to go off.
"An alarm system activates, the back windows go down, an additional fan turns on to cool off the inside of the vehicle," Montgomery County Undersheriff Rick Robbins told the station. "That is what is supposed to happen."
However, when the deputy returned to the car more than an hour later, he found the air conditioner blowing hot air -- and Blitz dead from apparent heat exhaustion, FOX 2 reports.
The owner of the company that makes the warning system, called Ace K9, flew in from Florida this week to investigate the failure.
"We’ve been doing this for 30 years,” said ower John Johnston. "We did have one other incident a while back under different circumstances, but we’ve got over 10,000 units on the road, and it’s heartbreaking."
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