Cache County Sheriff’s Deputy Jason Whittier Charged With Animal Cruelty in Death of Police K-9


LOGAN — A police K-9 that died from heat exhaustion was left in the back of a police patrol vehicle in direct sunlight for near 12 hours while his handler went to a family function, investigators say.

Cache County sheriff’s deputy Jason Whittier — who was the handler for police K-9 Endy — was charged Wednesday with aggravated cruelty to animals, a class B misdemeanor.

The sheriff’s office on Tuesday announced that Whittier, 36, had been placed on leave without pay and reassigned to a different division.

Endy, an 8-year-old Belgian Malinois, died July 3 after being left in Whittier’s patrol truck.

Whittier and Endy returned to Whittier’s home about noon on July 3 after just getting off shift. Whittier parked his truck in an area where there was “limited to no shade and was subject to direct sunlight during most of the day,” according to charging documents filed in 1st District Court.

Whittier went inside his house to get ready for family activities that were planned that day, “inexplicably leaving Endy in his patrol truck,” the charges state.

The temperature in Cache County that day was about 94 degrees.

When Whittier returned home about 11:30 p.m. and did not find Endy in his kennel, he went to his truck where he found Endy deceased, according to the charges.

Sheriff Chad Jensen on Tuesday cited “distraction” as being to blame for the incident.

“Endy’s death serves as a devastating reminder to us all about the importance of eliminating distractions, maintaining a routine and being vigilant about never leaving children or pets unattended in hot vehicles,” Jensen said.

Endy first started working with the Logan Police Department in 2010. In 2016, Endy was sold to the Cache County Sheriff’s Office when his handler with the Logan Police Department was involved in a serious traffic accident. Whittier became Endy’s handler at that point.

“This tragedy serves as a stark reminder to never leave children or animals alone inside of a car for any amount of time, as temperatures can quickly rise to a deadly level,” Cache County Chief Deputy Attorney Tony Baird said in a prepared statement.