HIALEAH (CBSMiami) – Davie and Hialeah police are looking into the deaths of two police dogs that were being cared for by a Hialeah police officer.READ MORE: Flags To Fly At Half-Staff Wednesday To Honor COVID-19 Victims
Hialeah police believe the canines must have been in the vehicle for more than six hours.
The Hialeah Police Department is devastated.
They say the officer is heartbroken, he has been the handler of one of the canines for more than six years and say not only were they his partner but they were part of his family.
“A terrible tragedy,” said Hialeah Police Officer Carl Zogby. “We are all in morning. We were beyond fond. Every member of the Hialeah Police Department was beyond fond of Jimmy the bloodhound and Hector. We were in love with those dogs.”
According to Hialeah Police, Officer Nelson Enriquez, a 13-year veteran, returned to his Davie home after his midnight shift and left his partners Jimmy, a bloodhound, and Hector, a Belgian malinois, in his police vehicle.
“He entered his home sometime in the mid-to-late morning and left the dogs in the vehicle,” said Zogby. “He discovered sometime late afternoon, probably preparing for his next shift, he discovered what had happened. He discovered the dogs in his car, in his driveway. You can imagine his reaction at that point. Like I had said before, these are two beloved members of his family.”READ MORE: Miami-Dade's First Federal Vaccination Site Is Now Open Using Newly Approved Johnson & Johnson Vaccine
Jimmy was donated to the Hialeah Police Department when he was five months old by the Jimmy Ryce Foundation and was named after Jimmy Ryce, the boy who was kidnapped while walking home from school and killed when he was 9-years old.
Don Ryce released a statement saying “I am deeply saddened to learn of the tragic death of two remarkable police dogs from the Hialeah Police Department, Jimmy and Hector.”
Don Ryce is working with the Hialeah Police Department to help replace the canines.
Officer Rodriguez’s uncle said that his nephew is extremely upset about the deaths of the two canines.
“He just feels hurtful, just very hurtful inside,” he said. “He loves those dogs, he loves them, especially Jimmy. That was his heart.”
Both canines are being transported by the Davie Police Department to the University of Florida in Gainesville for a necropsy to determine the cause of death.
They are being escorted by members of the Hialeah Police Honor Guard and Motorman detail.MORE NEWS: 'It’s Just Unacceptable': Racial Slurs Hurled At Fishermen Near Stuart
As for Officer Enriquez, he is relieved of duty pending the outcome of the investigation.