Former cop charged with misdemeanor animal cruelty for allegedly leaving K-9 police dog to die in his patrol car

A former police officer has been charged with a misdemeanor after he accidentally left his K-9 police dog to die in his patrol car on Sept. 10, 2023.

A probable cause affidavit said Kyle James Vincent had only been certified to work with Zeusz a month prior to leaving the dog in his patrol car at the end of his shift at about 6 a.m. in Fairmount, Indiana. The officer was getting ready for work 12 hours later at the beginning of his shift at 6 p.m. when he found the dog still inside the patrol car kennel.

‘He said it was stupid and there was no excuse for the untruthful stories.’

The 36-year-old told investigators that he fell to the ground and “cried for 20 minutes” after realizing the dog had died.

Fairmount Police Chief Richard Dollar said that the officer called him on Sept. 10 to notify him that he found his dog dead while getting ready for work, according to court records.

An assistant chief of the department transported the dog’s remains to a veterinary hospital and then secured Vincent’s police identification, his duty weapon, and his badge.

Records show that the patrol car was equipped with a temperature alarm.

Investigators said that Vincent gave them several conflicting accounts of the death of the dog. Later, Vincent admitted that he left the dog in the car and blamed PTSD and severe “brain fog.” He said that he had been depressed and lacked motivation on the day he left Zeusz in the car.

Indiana State Police Detective Jonathan Cole described Vincent as sober and quiet during the interview.

When asked whether it was reckless for him to work while he was feeling depressed, Vincent admitted that he should have told someone he was struggling.

“He said it was stupid and there was no excuse for the untruthful stories,” read the criminal complaint.

Initially, the Fairmount Police Department put the officer on administrative leave, but two days after the dog died, Vincent resigned from the police force.

The officer was charged with a level A misdemeanor of animal cruelty against a vertebrate animal.

Fairmount is a city of about 2,600 residents located 90 mins northeast of downtown Indianapolis.

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