Two police dogs found dead in officer’s vehicle

New details were released Thursday about two Hialeah police dogs who died after being left in an officer’s police-issued SUV outside his home in Davie.  During a news conference, Hialeah Police Sgt. Carl Zogby said Nelson Enriquez left his two K-9s in the SUV after working a midnight shift Wednesday. Police said after his shift, Enriquez helped assist in a missing person’s case and arrived at his Davie home about mid-morning. The dogs were found by Enriquez in the early evening. Police said Enriquez is devastated.

“This officer Enriquez lives in a wonderful home in Davie,” Zogby said. “He’s got a big backyard, he’s got two beautiful kennels in his backyard and he definitely loves and pampers his dogs. They do and can live in the house. He can put them in the kennel when the weather’s right, but no, they lived in the house with the officer. They’re full members of the family. In fact, I’m hearing his children wouldn’t go to sleep if the dogs weren’t in the house.”

Enriquez has been the only handler of Jimmy, a 7-year-old bloodhound, and Hector, a 4-year-old Belgian Malinouix. Jimmy was Hialeah’s only K-9 bloodhound on the force, and was given to them 6 and a half years ago by the Jimmy Ryce foundation. Hialeah police said the foundation will work to get them another bloodhound in the future. The head of the foundation, Don Ryce, released a statement Thursday morning saying in part, “I am deeply saddened to learn of the tragic death of two remarkable police dogs from the Hialeah Police Department, Jimmy and Hector. The Jimmy Ryce Center donated Jimmy, the bloodhound, to the Hialeah Police Department seven years ago. Our mission is stronger than ever, and with the public’s help, we hope to be able to raise funds to replace these dogs.”

Police said the dogs were well cared for and said the officer was on the K-9 force for 7 years, with a commendable record. But police also acknowledged that the duties and responsibilities of a K-9 officer are 24-7 because the animals live with their handler. Enriques has been relieved of duty with pay pending the outcome of the investigation. Hialeah police will be taking both animals to Gainesville Thursday afternoon for a necropsy at the University of Florida. The K-9s will get a motorman escort with an honor guard for the trip.

The picture below is of officer Enriquez and Jimmy, one of the two dogs killed. More pictures can be found of Officer Enriquez’s facebook page, here: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100008413691083&fref=ts

jimmy

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Two Hialeah police dogs died Wednesday when their handler apparently left them in his vehicle after returning to his Davie home from work, according to authorities. The police K-9 dogs were identified as Jimmy, a 7-year-old bloodhound, and Hector, a 4-year-old Belgian Malinois. Hialeah officer Nelson Enriquez, a 13-year veteran of the force, was relieved of duty while the investigation proceeds.

Enriquez arrived home early Wednesday after his midnight shift. When he discovered the dead dogs in the evening, he called Davie police, said Hialeah police spokesman Carl Zogby. “The Hialeah Police Department is extremely saddened by this unfortunate occurrence and every effort will be made to determine the cause of this terrible tragedy which claimed the lives of two very beloved members of our Hialeah Police family,” Zogby said.

A preliminary investigation determined that Enriquez left the dogs in his marked police vehicle parked in his home driveway, Zogby said. Davie police Sgt. Pablo Castaneda said his department got a call Wednesday night from the home and found the two dogs. Jimmy, the bloodhound, was donated to the Hialeah Police Department by the Jimmy Ryce Center for Victims of Predatory Abduction seven years ago.

“I am deeply saddened to learn of the tragic death of two remarkable police dogs,” said Don Ryce, whose son, murdered in 1995 in South Miami-Dade, is the namesake of the foundation.

The police SUV was towed from the driveway. Davie police are leading the investigation while Hialeah will conduct an internal inquiry. Enriquez has been a K-9 handler for seven years.

Police officers in Miami-Dade have been arrested in the past for the unnatural deaths of their K-9 partners. In March 2008, Miami Police Officer Rondal Brown was arrested for animal cruelty after the starvation death of his department bloodhound, Dynasty. The dog — which also was donated to the department by the Jimmy Ryce Foundation — was discovered starved with “an emaciated, wasted corpse.” Brown later left police work and agreed to serve probation. In 2007, Miami-Dade Police Sgt. Allen Cockfield was charged with animal cruelty after prosecutors said he fatally kicked his German shepherd, Duke, during a training session. A Miami-Dade jury later acquitted Cockfield at trial.

 

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