Monday , November 13, 2017 - 1:07 PM
A 1st District Court judge sentenced a former Cache County Sheriff’s Office deputy to 100 hours of community service and one year of probation after the deputy pleaded no contest to a class B misdemeanor for aggravated cruelty to an animal.
“All I can say is I made a mistake,” former Deputy Jason Whittier told the court Monday, according to The Herald Journal. “I loved that dog like family. I have lost a lot, but to do it all over again, I would lose everything but the dog.”
At least 50 hours of the court-ordered community service must be spent educating the public about the dangers of leaving humans and animals in a hot car. Whittier must also submit two pages of suggested changes to policies and procedures for law enforcement agencies on how Endy’s death could have been prevented, according to the Cache Valley Daily.
Judge Thomas Willmore said Whittier’s community service is not meant to embarrass him.
“You have lost a lot, and the county has lost a lot,” Willmore said.
Endy, an 8-year-old Belgian Malinois police drug K-9, died July 3 after Whittier left the dog in the back of his patrol truck. According to a probable cause statement, Whittier returned home from his shift around noon and parked his patrol vehicle outside his home.
“Deputy Whittier then left his residence to participate in family activities, inexplicably leaving Endy in his patrol truck,” reads the affidavit, completed by Sean Marshall, a special investigator in the Cache County Attorney’s Office. Whittier returned home around 11:30 p.m. and, realizing Endy was not in his outside kennel, discovered the animal dead inside his patrol vehicle.
Experts at the Utah Veterinary Diagnostic Lab analyzed Endy’s remains and their findings “suggest fatal heat stroke as the cause of death,” according to the affidavit.
“Distraught, Deputy Whittier contacted his supervisor and informed him of the circumstances,” according to the affidavit.
Cache County Sheriff Chad Jensen called Endy’s death an “unfortunate incident.”
The Northern Utah Critical Incident Task Force investigated the dog’s death.
Endy served the Logan Police Department from April 5, 2010, until 2016, when the Cache County Sheriff’s Office acquired him. While serving Logan Police, Endy handled 151 drug sniffs, 45 suspect searches, 11 call outs and 14 demonstrations, according to police records.
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