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Police chief says K-9 handler's 'mistake' led to dog's death

A police officer has been suspended without pay after the K-9 officer with whom he was paired died after being left for hours in a car.

COLUMBIA, SC (WTHR) - A police officer has been suspended without pay after the K-9 with whom he was paired died after being left for hours in a car.

Master Officer David Hurt took his dog Turbo to a training day on July 26. He parked the car under an awning and left the car's air conditioner running.

The officer, a seven-year veteran, returned almost eight hours later. The dog hadn't been given any break from the car while the officer was gone.

The police chief said Hurt "simply made a mistake."

"I did not think it was a situation where he could no longer function as a police officer. There was not an ethical issue. There was no dishonesty. It certainly was poor judgment, but it was not intentional. It was a mistake of the heart he'll live with the rest of his life," said Chief Skip Holbrook.

The officer was suspended for five days without pay and was removed from both the K-9 program and the bomb squad.

One-year-old Turbo was trained in explosives detection.

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