A Florida police officer whose K-9 was found dead in the back of his patrol car last summer will face no criminal charges.
2-year-old pup Zena was left in the back of the car for more than four hours in July while her handler, Officer Viera Gonzalez, attended a training course at the Criminal Justice Center in Eastern Florida State College in Melbourne. , the Cocoa Police Department said at the time.
Temperatures reached 90 degrees that day and a doctor said Zena likely died of heat stroke.
Melbourne Police recommended an animal cruelty charge, but the Brevard County State Attorney’s Office declined to press charges.
“K-9 police officers play a vital role in protecting the citizens of their community, as well as their law enforcement partners. We know that every effort is being made by their agencies and managers to ensure their well-being in what is often a dangerous and difficult mission,” the state’s attorney’s office said in a statement to Click Orlando.
“Based on the totality of the evidence and the unfortunate circumstances that led to K-9’s death, we did not believe the prosecution of Officer Viera Gonzalez was warranted.”
Gonzalez was removed from the Cocoa Police Department’s K-9 unit.