Police Dog Dies of Heat Exhaustion

In Arlington, TX a police dog named Mojo died after being overcome by heat exhaustion on the job. The Belgian Malinois and his handler Vince Ramsour were involved in a search for a suspect who was wanted in connection with a shooting.

At 8 am, police officers attempted to stop 17-year-old Shune Deon Arnold Jr. who was wanted for a shooting that occurred on June 12th, Lt. Christopher Cook told The Dallas Morning News. After Arnold refused to pull over, he sped away in his car and later fled on foot.

At 10 am the K-9 team was called in to assist in searching for the suspect. Mojo and his handler Ramsour were part of the search. They worked diligently, but at about 11:15 Ramsour noticed that Mojo seemed to be overheating. Cook told CBS DFW that Mojo was then taken to ABC Arlington Animal Health Care Center where Dr. Cindi Rachal began treatment.

Dr. Rachal is the veterinarian who regularly treats Arlington’s K-9 unit. She was able to bring Mojo’s temperature down to normal within an hour. “His temperature was above what our thermometers will read,” Rachal told Fox 4. “Getting them stable right away is kind of the easy part. The hard part is within the next few hours, even days, they can start having organ malfunction.”

Mojo was then taken to a second veterinary clinic in Mansfield, TX where he would undergo a blood transfusion. At 1:30 pm the police department asked people via Twitter to pray for Mojo. An hour later, during the transfusion, Mojo died. The suspect Arnold was later apprehended at 4:30 pm.

“Mojo was an exceptional K9 partner, friend, and served the citizens of Arlington honorably,” Assistant Police Chief Kevin Kolbye said in a statement. “The department appreciates the words of encouragement and prayers.”

Mojo was born in Holland and came to Arlington in 2010 at the age of 2. He worked with his handler Ramsour for his entire 6 years in Arlington. According to Dallas Morning News, Mojo was responsible for many felony apprehensions and searches for dangerous criminals.

According to CBS DFW, Officer Ramsour has worked with the Arlington K-9 unit since 1997, and handled two dogs prior to Mojo. Both his previous dogs retired honorably. Mojo’s death is the first on-duty canine death the Arlington Police Department has experienced.

“He’s our four-legged officer who really helps out in some of the most critical calls,” Cook told Fox 4. “Our hearts go out to the handler. Everybody’s just kind of hurting.”

Though they were not able to save him, Ramsour clearly knew what the signs of heat exhaustion were and acted quickly in an attempt to save Mojo.

Tom House, a veterinarian in south Texas, told CNN that, “As a dog becomes heat stressed, they will start panting and drooling excessively. They may have muscle tremors and/or become wobbly before collapsing.”

As temperatures continue to stay high this summer, it’s important to pay attention to when your dog exhibits these signs. If your dog shows signs of heat exhaustion, House recommends first cooling your dog with water – but not with cold or ice water. You should also seek immediate veterinary attention for your dog.

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