MELBOURNE — Authorities are investigating the death of a police dog found dead inside a patrol car parked outside a courthouse in Florida.
News outlets are reporting the German shepherd's body was discovered about 7:30 p.m. Friday outside the Brevard County Courthouse in Melbourne on Florida's Atlantic coast.
The patrol car belonged to an officer from the nearby Sebastian Police Department. John Blackledge, the agency's commander of operations, called the dog's death a tragedy, adding that his agency will conduct an independent investigation.
Officials haven't said how long the dog was in the car. The National Weather Service reported the high in central Florida on Friday afternoon was 88 degrees.
Melbourne police and the Brevard County animal control unit also are investigating the death.