Handler of Dead Western Pennsylvania Police Dog Suspended

NEW CASTLE, Pa.-- The handler of a western Pennsylvania police dog that died after it was left in the back of a parked police cruiser has been suspended without pay.

New Castle police Chief Thomas Sansone isn't identifying the officer who was handling Chico, a 6-year-old Dutch shepherd that died Saturday. The dog was found unresponsive in the car parked outside the station about 45 miles northwest of Pittsburgh. The chief says the Lawrence County district attorney is also investigating.

Police are hoping a surveillance camera aimed at the parking lot may help police determine how long the animal was left in the vehicle. The car was equipped with a fan and a system to open a rear window in hot weather.

The department has 37 officers and three other dogs.

A memorial service for the dog was scheduled Thursday morning.