HARRIS COUNTY - A deputy with the Harris County Sheriff's Office is under investigation after he allegedly left his K9 partner, a German Shepherd, inside a hot car.
A spokesperson for the sheriff's office said the cause of death is still under investigation but it appears to be heat exhaustion.
Sources inside the department told Local 2 Deputy Tim Lauder was coming home from work and had the dog with him, when he pulled into the driveway Lauder got distracted by his kids and forgot about the dog.
"Deputies and their K9 partners form an incredible bond," said Sheriff Adrian Garcia. "This is a tragedy."
The department called the incident an accident and said the deputy was devastated.
Right now there is an internal investigation being done to determine exactly what happened.
"We're looking into it, we're investigating it," Sheriff Garcia said. "More importantly we're trying to learn from it. We want to find ways that will prevent this from ever happening again."
One of those ways, Garcia said, is by installing sensors or alarms inside the patrol cars so if someone is left inside a hot car the deputy would be alerted.
Deputy Lauder has been with the HCSO for 21 years and had worked with the K9 for the last six.
He's been placed on administrative duty pending the outcome of the investigation.
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