FDLE: Kissimmee K9 officer left in hot patrol car

FOX 35 News at 6 p.m.

- An investigation by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement reveals that a Kissimmee police K9 died after being left inside a hot patrol car by its handler.  A report by the FDLE and Kissimmee Police Department's Internal Affairs further reveals that Officer Gerardo Bellido lied about how his K9, Igor, died. 

Investigators said Officer Bellido told supervisors that he found the dog unresponsive in his air-conditioned patrol car and immediately took it to the veterinarian, who determined the dog died from heat stroke. 

The report states that Officer Bellido informed another handler that he was untruthful about how the 4-year-old German Shepherd died, explaining that when he got his K9 vehicle from the service center, he forgot to transfer Igor into the vehicle. Officer Bellido said that he realized K9 Igor was at the service center in the other car when he arrived at home. Officer Bellido said he went to the service center to get Igor, and then took the K9 to the emergency animal clinic.

"I killed the dog, it's my fault," Officer Bellido is reported to have said to his colleague.  "I left the dog in the car."

Igor was believed to have been left inside the car for roughly three hours, without air-conditioning.   The veterinarian who examined the dog said its core temperature was 110 degrees and that the animal had been dead for approximately one-and-a-half to two hours when the body was brought to the clinic. 

An  internal affairs investigation determined that Bellido committed two violations of department policy.  The Orlando Sentinel reports that Bellido's discipline consisted of a total of 160 hours of suspension, all taken out of his accrued vacation time. Currently, Bellido is no longer a K9 officer but remains on the force.  The FLDE report investigating Bellido for possible animal cruelty was forwarded to State Attorney Jeff Ashton's office in June for review. No charges have been filed.

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