Memorials to Fallen K-9s
The F.A.S.T. Co. donates sets of memorial cards to all partners 
 I need your help to inform me of such losses.

Dept. addresses available for those who want to send condolences to officers. See below
In Loving Memory of

July 14, 2004
Partner: Officer La Rock
Corpus Christi Police Department
 321 John Sartain St.
Corpus Christi, Tx  78401
 (361) 886-2603
A similar system apparently failed to save the life of Xena, a Belgian Malinois police dog that served the Corpus Christi police. Detectives there are investigating the handler's claim that the system did not alert him that the dog was inside July 14.  The Corpus Christi incident is one of several similar police dog tragedies around the country. A vice president of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in Dallas called Friday's incident "unconscionable." "He should be charged criminally," said Dave Garcia, who investigates animal cruelty cases for the SPCA of Texas. "If John Q. Public did this, they would be charged, and so should this officer. It's a K-9 officer. That person has to be held to a higher standard than anyone else on something like this." Neighbors of Cpl. Garcia's said they've never seen the officer treat the dog with anything but respect and affection. "I've seen him interact with the dog," said Jill Bright, who lives down the street. "He had a really good relationship. He would let kids pet the dog."
Police K-9 Dies in Patrol Car
Corpus Christi Police are trying to figure out if a patrol car malfunction caused the death of a police dog.  The dog named Xena died of heat exhaustion last Wednesday while she was locked inside officer Robert La Rock's patrol car.  Police Chief Pete Alvarez tells 6 News the incident occurred while officer La Rock was off-duty.  He says the officer put Xena in the patrol car, because she was barking at some people working at La Rock's home.  He said he left the car running with the air conditioning on, but after checking back later he found Xena dead. Patrol units like La Rock's are equipped with special alarms to alert officers if the car is getting too hot.  La Rock says the alarm and the pager didn't got off and he's not sure what happened.  The department is conducting an investigation of the mishap to determine if La Rock should be charged with anything. He has since uniform division. Xena's death has also raised some questions with folks in the community who take care of animals. Sherry Dunlap with the Corpus Christi Animal Rights effort takes care of all these dogs and she was shocked by the news of Xena's death, "It calls into question, are these officers being trained adequately for the basic care of these animals."  Officer La Rock says he left the car running, with the air conditioner on, but Dunlap says that might not have been enough to protect a dog from the heat, "They can't sweat, they don't sweat and it's harder for them to cool off and when you have no air circulating the panting is hot air you know, it's not effective." Police investigators are still trying to find out what happened. Meanwhile Nueces County District Attorney Carlos Valdez, who says Police K-9 officers receive special training, is watching the case closely, "Actually they should be setting the example on how to treat animals and they should be out in the public been reassigned to the saying this is the way you should treat animals, this is the way you shouldn't treat animals." Animal care givers like Dunlap agree, they say incidents like this should've never had happened in the first place, "Why would he, why would you even take the chance knowing the heat situation the way it is, I wouldn't leave an adult locked in a car, much less a child or a dog."  This is the second incident involving a police dog in the past month. Back in June we showed you the face and body injuries to Marty. He's a drug sniffing dog from the Robstown Police department that was put into a pound. The dog was returned to its handler when the injuries were deemed self inflicted. But Valdez is watching both of these cases like this closely, "If you have another case involving some kind of injury or death of an animal in the hands of a police department in the next month, then we'll really have to stop everything and let's take a look at what's happening."