Home / Badge Abuse / Cop Left K9 in Hot Car for Days, Didn’t Know He Died Until He Smelled It

Cop Left K9 in Hot Car for Days, Didn’t Know He Died Until He Smelled It

Stephens County, OK — An Oklahoma sheriff’s deputy has been fired and charged with animal cruelty after his K9 partner succumbed to crushing heat while confined in the deputy’s patrol car for 38 hours.

Now-former Stephens County Sheriff’s Deputy Matthew Peck left K9 Deputy Bak, his partner of four years, in the sweltering vehicle for over a day and a half, killing the animal.

According to the arrest affidavit, cited by local station KOCO, Bak died sometime between Wednesday night, August 3, and Friday morning, as outside temperatures climbed to 99 degrees. Court documents estimated this meant the patrol car’s interior temperature could have exceeded 120 degrees — more than sufficient to kill the helpless animal, which had not been provided water or food.

A local veterinarian contacted by authorities and cited in court documents said that while the otherwise healthy eight-year-old Bak could have “easily survived through the night,” once Thursday’s temperatures began to rise, heating the interior to above 105 degrees, the dog would have no chance for survival. The vet surmised Bak had suffered heat stroke.

Court records say Peck had been called to a vehicle stop on Wednesday night and Bak assisted by performing a search — but when Peck returned home, he simply left the police dog in his patrol vehicle outside.

Unnamed sources cited by local NBC affiliate WCMH said Peck made a practice of leaving his K9 partner in the cruiser on his days off work, and that the deputy only realized what had happened after smelling the dead animal as he left home for a court date.

“We were shocked, and we’re saddened,” Stephens County Sheriff Wayne McKinney remarked of Bak’s cruel killing. “This is a loss of one of our deputies or K9 deputies.”

Bak will be included on a memorial for fallen officers in place outside the Stephens County Courthouse.

“The handler has the utmost responsibility to make sure that that dog is well taken care of,” McKinney told KFOR. “A tremendous amount of work goes into the dogs and not only with their dogs but with their handlers. Those two become partners. We will replace Bak and remember him, but we’ll continue.”

Under Oklahoma law, should Peck be found guilty of felony animal cruelty, the former deputy could face fines of up to $5,000 and up to a year in a county jail, or up to five years’ imprisonment in a state penitentiary. However, this potential penalty stands in marked contrast to another death of a K9 police officer in Ohio.

Kelontre Barefield — who shot and killed Canton K9 Officer Jethro in January during an attempted burglary — will spend the next 45 years behind bars, 34 of which concern the death of the dog.

While each killing of a K9 officer is an indisputably horrific act of violence, the inconsistent sentencing in those cases gives remarkable insight into the legendary impunity officers are granted for employing violence against humans and animals alike.

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If the message in sentencing is to punish the guilty without regard for details such as an individual’s occupation, Peck would face decades in prison — or Barefield would not.

Granting Peck, if found guilty, the exponentially lesser punishment only reiterates to the public their crimes are considered arbitrarily worse offenses than those committed by officers of the apparently not-at-all blind law.

“It’s been a sad day around here for all of us,” McKinney told the Duncan Banner previously. “We all like our animals. I’ve got several personally of my own, but these dogs that work day-to-day with some of our deputies are their partners … I know there was some departmental policies violated, but we have concerns in other areas. We’re looking at that, but I just want to assure the people it will be dealt with if there is a problem.”

Although that problem will now indeed be dealt with via the court system, it’s clear justice has abandoned its blindfold.

  • Kountry Bumpkin

    Peck made a practice of leaving his K9 partner in the cruiser on his days off work, why would anyone in their right mind do that, I mean if your going to cook the dog alive why not just take it in the house and shove it in the over or better yet move to China where it’s actually a normal practice. And what about all the times the poor dog was left in the car before now, what kind of idiot would actually rather clean dog pee and poop out of their vehicle then let the dog out in its enclosure. Yet another example of the hypocrisy of the federally funded crime syndicate, the rest of us would be looking at a very long prison sentence.

  • Mike

    Another GREAT reason why cops should be banned from using dogs for their work! This lazy ass fucking piece of shit. abandoned his partner and let him die from heat stroke. He needs to get charged with killing a police officer and spend 45 years in jail, like the criminal that killed a police dog. I hope someone kills this cop, but not before torturing the shit out of him!!!!

  • Prince

    Maybe the scumbag was in the mood for a hot dog?

    • Fred Ziffel


    • Paschn


  • Katydid

    Isn’t that more like negligent homicide?

  • tracy Smith

    Cops are sh*t I hate those dumb trigger happy idiots.

  • haauwnk

    If they’re not killing other people’s dogs, it’s their own.

  • Razedbywolvs

    Animal cruelty.. WTF he killed a cop. Thats manslaughter at a minimum.

    • Dev_mom

      It’s never a minimum such as manslaughter, for the killing of a cop. They go right for the death penalty.

  • Northerner

    i hope this cop gets life, animal cruelty is one thing but this dog was an officer and his dumbass handler cant say he forgot the dog in the cruiser because if he brings the dog home with him then doesn’t he feed or water him and wonder where he was when he doesn’t see him around the house? this deputy is completely incompetent!


    I will not be satisfied unless they put this human piece of shit in a hot metal box to fry until he is DEAD.
    Most people LOVE their canine companions and would do anything to see that they are well taken care of.
    This less than human psychopath has proved he isn’t fit to walk the streets, let alone be a cop or allowed to be responsible
    for an animal as intelligent as one that is qualified to be trained to do what K9s are required to do on command.
    That others KNEW he left the dog in his patrol car on his days off further shows the lack of simple HUMANITY among
    those who knew and DID NOTHING about it.
    I hope there’s a god that will curse you all to your dying day…which I hope is soon.

  • ErynnSilver

    Made a damn practice of leaving the dog in the car? What the actual fuck?

  • Deborah South

    The officer should be placed on the Animal Abuse Registry and never allowed to own another animal. Firing him does not cut it.

    “Unnamed sources cited by local NBC affiliate WCMH said Peck made a practice of leaving his K9 partner in the cruiser on his days off work, and that the deputy only realized what had happened after smelling the dead animal as he left home for a court date.”
    Read more at http://thefreethoughtproject.com/cop-k9-car-died/#oVcIOjTQvfoyEuX8.99

  • Bob Btme

    The Civil War was the biggest mistake ever! New England, New York and New Jersey had the chance to get away from these rednecks forever, now we’re stuck in the same country.

  • Steven DePriest

    “Unnamed sources cited by local NBC affiliate WCMH said Peck made a practice of leaving his K9 partner in the cruiser on his days off work,”

    Why did the Sheriff’s office allow him to continue as a K-9 officer if he followed such am inhumane practice of leaving his partner in the squad car? Didn’t the dog have to urinate, get hungry or thirsty?

    I think there is sufficient evidence to warrant an investigation into the entire Sheriff’s Office and their mishandling of K-9 officers and those responsible for their care.

  • Naa, he won’t get 34 years like us mortals. More like a $50 fine and back rub, because cop.

  • Dianne D

    He did this deliberately! You just don’t forget your dog for 3 days in a car not feed it and not walk it. He deserves the same penalty that anybody else gets. And this is just the beginning because he’s a psychopath that’s just starting on the animals before people!

  • Chester Marx

    I’ll have flashbacks next time I see a video of a cop with a service dog, “that’s practically part of the family” . These dogs are purebreds/costly, have extensive training/costly, and are supposed to be bonded with their partner. Somethings amiss here. I’m going to go pet my dog now.

  • Richard.

    So were is the murder charges..They put people in jail for killing the K-9’s on the force….

    • Miriam Sterigmos

      typical ‘it’s ok for us but wrong for everybody else’ mentality of law enforcement. my guess is there will be no charges at all.

  • Paschn

    To me, there’s something inherently bad about a culture that turns man’s best friend into a flesh ripping attack animal. All too frequently “sicced” on someone unnecessarily.

  • Sherry Gillespie

    And why isn’t HE be charged with death of an officer. We would be.

  • Katydid

    If the dog is a cop, he killed a cop.

  • James Latham

    Stats say cops kill a dog in the US every 98 minutes. Guess this cop missed his quote and killed his own dog instead. This cop had better be investigated for drug use. How could you leave your dog in a car for three days unless you have a drug or alcohol problem. Being a cop they will go easy on him and he will find another job else where.

  • Mike

    Just shows that some of the world is made up of crappy people.