ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - Ppatriot, a 5-year-old male Malinois trained in patrolling and explosives detection, died at Albany Marine Corp Logistics base back in September.
He’d been at the base for four months.
MCLB conducted a full investigation into Ppatriot’s death and announced in a press conference Wednesday that he died of a heat stroke.
“I think we are just left maybe with a little more questions that we had coming in, and we’re still just very confused. Some of the things just aren’t adding up. To say that four separate investigations were conducted with zero findings when a dog is left outside unattended and is found unresponsive and dies of a heat stroke is beyond me,” said Stephanie Pecovsky, Ppatriot’s foster mom back in 2015.
She works with military working dogs like Ppatriot, and she says it’s not typically protocol to leave dogs unattended outside.
But the Albany Marine Corps Logistics base reported that Ppatriot was outside and playing with another military working dog while a handler cleaned kennels.
The handler returned to find the dog panting in a tunnel and not answering verbal commands.
“The handler immediately pulled Ppatriot out of the tunnel and noted he was unresponsive. The handler notified his supervisor, who called Fort Benning vet, and to the deputy chief. The handler moved him to a shaded area and began chest compressions which continued while in route to the vet,” said Commanding Officer at MCLB, Colonel Michael Fitzgerald.
Ppatriot was declared dead by the vet.
But this wasn’t the first time Ppatriot was affected by heat.
“On 24 October 2017, a vet documented a heat index at that time. It’s also believed on September 1st and 2nd, a possible heat injury might have occurred then,” said the Colonel.
Following Ppatriot’s death, MCLB Albany says they are looking to change protocols to prevent this tragedy in the future.
“What we are looking at is creating a heat index, like we do for Marines, that at certain temperatures, activities stop,” said the Colonel.