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September 7, 2012 at 9:05 PM

Des Moines police surprised by angry emails about dog treatment

Harley, a K-9 dog for the Des Moines Police Department in Washington state, is doing just fine. Some had confused the  dog with another K-9 dog named Harley who died while unattended in a car during a vice investigation on a hot day in Iowa. (Des Moines Police Department photo)

Angry e-mails blindsided the Des Moines Police Department last week with accusations that officers had killed their K-9 narcotics dog, Harley, by leaving him unattended in a car for too long on a hot day.

“We called the chief about what happened to Harley when we got the emails, and he said ‘What are you talking about?'” said a front desk employee of the police department.

It turns out their Harley, who is taken care of at the home of one of the department’s K-9 handlers, is just fine, according to Sgt. Patti Harris. But several Des Moines Register readers thought they were complaining to police in Des Moines, Iowa, about the death of another  narcotics  dog, one also named Harley.

“We didn’t even know anything happened,” Harris said. “So initially there was some confusion because people using a generic email address were contacting us.”

The narcotics dog for Iowa’s Des Moines Police Department died on Aug. 29 when he was left in a car on a hot day during a vice investigation, according to the Des Moines Register.

Harris said the Des Moines, Wash., department sends its condolences to the Des Moines, Iowa, department and to the community that lost the dog last month.

Comments | Topics: Des Moines, Des Moines Police Department

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