The tragic saga of the German Shepherds who died after overheating in a box truck in Indiana continues to leave more questions than answers.
At least eight German Shepherds heading for a police K-9 training facility died after they overheated in a box truck on July 27. Animal rights activists were alarmed after the Lake Station Police Department appeared to be overly lenient with the dogs’ owner, a former law enforcement officer and K-9 police trainer.
Since then, Lake Station PD has been nearly mum on the subject, even going as far as deleting social media comments from people concerned about the incident, according to a letter from an attorney for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA).
In the wake of the incident, LSPD posted a since-deleted update on Facebook calling the tragedy a «freak event,» Insider previously reported. Some comments on the post seemed skeptical, raising concerns about police corruption and calling for an investigation.
Jennifer Webber, the executive director of the Humane Society of Hobart, told Insider the LSPD did not follow protocol when officers arrived at the scene on July 27.
Webber said the humane society should have been permitted to seize the dogs and investigate. Instead, Webber said the LSPD complied with the dogs’ owner and allowed him to leave the scene with multiple dogs that urgently needed medical attention, as well as deceased dogs.
Following the public backlash, the LSPD appears to have deleted its Facebook post, as well as comments left by concerned citizens on other police posts.
«In response, the department deleted a post discussing the incident, limited the users who could comment on its recent posts, and deleted or hid many comments critical of the LSPD,» PETA Foundation attorney Mary Maerz wrote in a letter to LSPD Chief James Richardson and city attorney Frank J. Koprcina.
The police department has not responded to multiple requests for comment from Insider.
«This conduct violates the First Amendment,» Maerz wrote in the letter. «It is clearly established that government authorities, including law enforcement, commit unconstitutional viewpoint discrimination when they delete comments on or otherwise restrict access to an official social media page because they do not like posted content.»
In response to a records request from Insider, city attorney Koprcina said the police department’s investigation is «still pending at this time and is not complete.»
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