A former deputy with the Boone County Sheriff’s Department in Iowa has pleaded guilty to animal neglect following the demise of a police dog placed under his care, ABC News reports.
Dallas Wingate initially received a felony charge for killing the K-9, named Bear, after leaving him unattended in his hot patrol car for nearly 22 hours. Investigators said that at the time of Bear’s death — which occurred in Sept. 2022 — the temperature inside Wingate’s truck was over 100 degrees Fahrenheit.
On Dec. 11 of this year, Wingate entered into a plea agreement with prosecutors, which saw him plead guilty to a misdemeanor charge of animal neglect with serious injury or death. As a result of this plea agreement, prosecutors dropped Wingate’s felony charge.
Moreover, the ex-Iowa deputy will face an 18-month probation sentence, along with $855 in fines, as per the terms of his plea deal.
Commenting on the suit, Boone County Sheriff Andy Godzicki told KCCI News, “I am grateful that there was an outcome to this and that there is justice for that canine dying.”
Death of police dog left in hot car
According to court documents, Wingate told investigators he put his K-9 partner in a kennel in the back of his police truck because he had been barking incessantly at a deer.
This happened at around 10 p.m. on Sept. 1, 2022, as per the Des Moines Register.
When Wingate left his home for work the next day, Bear was still in the vehicle. The dog had been deprived of food and water, as well as potty breaks, all night. Wingate said that while feeding his other dogs on the night of Sept. 2, 2022, that’s when he remembered he had left K-9 Bear confined in his unventilated car.
By the time Wingate went to get Bear, he was, sadly, no more.
Wingate was placed on administrative leave following the tragic incident as police pursued their investigation. Ultimately, Wingate resigned from his position.
KCCI News shared that K-9 Bear’s memorial and ashes sit in the Boone County Sheriff’s Office in honor of his service.