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Police dog at the centre of a retirement row died of heatstroke when left in the back of a car

Police Dog Ivy died from heatstroke. Credit: ITV News Central

A police dog left in the back of a car died from heatstroke, an investigation has revealed.

PD Ivy made the headlines last yearwhen thousands signed a petition for his former handler, Sergeant David Evans, to keep her when he retired. A request which was denied.

Ivy died at a training exercise in Worcester in July 2018 after she was left in the back of a police vehicle with a broken fan.

When her handler returned to the vehicle, PD Ivy was found to be unresponsive and CPR was attempted. She was rushed to the vets with the police car using its emergency blue lights.

West Mercia Police appointed another force to conduct an independent investigation into the circumstances surrounding and leading up to her death.

A post-mortem examination confirmed that PD Ivy died as a result of Disseminated Intravascular Coagulation, brought on by heatstroke.

Staffordshire Police has made recommendations into the handling and welfare of West Mercia Police dogs which the force will be implementing.

West Mercia's Assistant Chief Constable Geoff Wessell said:

We accept that PD Ivy should not have died as a result of heatstroke and we have learned this very harsh lesson in the worst possible way. We have therefore taken on board everything that the review has identified.As a result of PD Ivy's tragic death which has highlighted the dangers that hot weather poses on dogs, we recognise that some of our policies and procedures require amending to prevent these circumstances from reoccurring.

This is being done as a priority and resulting changes will be communicated to all of our dog handlers.

– West Mercia's Assistant Chief Constable Geoff Wessell

In response to the recommendations, West Mercia Police has said they are committed to providing dog handlers with formal training and a qualification in canine first aid. The force will also be investing in new technology that can accurately monitor temperature and humidity within vehicles.

A designated dog welfare officer has now been appointed to conduct regular checks on police dogs at all training events.

Read more:

Plea for police dog to retire with handler rejected despite thousands signing petition