Cpl Dustin J. Lee and MWD Lex's old kennel are in the news again. This time it's because of a death of one of it's canines due to negligence of one of the dog handlers stationed on the base. Although it is a Marine Corps Kennel on a Marine Corps Base, it is now run primarily by civilian contract workers.
The dog died of heat stroke after hours of being locked in a vehicle in the baking Georgia sun. Nothing like coming back fro a tour in the Sand Box and coming back here and dieing of a heat stroke because of an idiot handler
The following text is taken from the Albany Herald's website, article by Susan McCord.
ALBANY — A military working dog left inside a police vehicle for four hours May 6 at Marine Corps Logistics Base-Albany died from heatstroke, the results of an investigation released Friday found.
The body of Dax, a 5-year-old German shepherd, was examined by a Fort Benning military veterinarian who determined the dog’s cause of death to be heatstroke, MCLB officials said in a statement.
Assigned to a handler with MCLB’s civilian police force, Dax was left inside a police vehicle for approximately four hours the afternoon of May 6, Public Affairs Officer Lt. Caleb Eames said.
An investigation into the circumstances surrounding Dax’s death revealed “a lack of diligence in carrying out assigned duties by two civilian government employees,” the statement said.
One employee had transported Dax and another dog to a training site, while Dax’s handler drove a different vehicle with supplies to the site, the statement said. After training, the same driver returned to the kennels, but only removed one dog, leaving Dax inside.
Dax’s handler assumed the first handler had removed him from the vehicle, the statement said.
Four hours later when someone noticed the dog was missing, Dax’s body was found inside the vehicle, Eames said.
“The command has implemented punitive administrative action against the two employees,” and the working dog section has undergone refresher training “to ensure that this does not happen in the future,” the statement said.
The names of the employees, whom Eames stated continue to be employed as MCLB police officers, cannot be released under the federal Privacy Act of 1947, Eames said.
No criminal charges have been filed against them, he said.
Dax had been assigned to MCLB for two years and 11 months and was trained in explosives detection and patrol, Eames said.
He had completed one six-month tour in Iraq, returning to MCLB in November, Eames said.
“This is a very sad time for us,” he said. “The military working dog section was very distraught after this happened. The relationship between the handlers and the dogs is very strong. It’s a close bond they develop, and to have one of the dogs be lost is a tragic event.”
Dax was one of several dogs assigned to MCLB. Lex, a military working dog, was adopted in December by the family of his Marine Corps handler, Cpl. Dustin Lee. Lee was killed and Lex was wounded during a rocket attack in Iraq in March 2006.
Volunteering information about the investigation to the media, base officials want the public to know that Dax’s death has been taken seriously and sufficient action has been taken to make sure dogs at MCLB receive proper care, Eames said.
Dax’s death will not slow the work of military dogs aboard MCLB, he said.
“We have a sufficient number of dogs to continue the mission of securing the base,” he said.
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