LOGAN, Utah – A former Cache County deputy who pleaded guilty in the death of his K-9 officer was sentenced Monday.
The hearing didn’t last long and Jason Whittier didn’t say much.
He apologized and said he loved his former K-9 partner, Endy, like he was a member of his own family.
But back on July 3, Whittier forgot about his partner after returning home from work and left Endy in the back of his patrol cruiser.
It was hot that day and Endy eventually died from heat exhaustion.
Whittier lost his law enforcement job and later pleaded “no contest” to aggravated animal cruelty.
Endy came to the Cache County Sheriff’s Department from the Logan Police Department; he helped launch the sheriff’s K-9 squad.
Endy was involved in more than 100 cases, from drug enforcement to tracking down fugitives.
He also made a big impact in the community, especially with school-age children.
The Cache County Sheriff’s office says new protocols are now in place to prevent something like this from happening again.
Whittier, who now works in construction, was sentenced to six months in jail.
However, the judge suspended the jail time as long as Whittier abides by the terms of his plea deal.
That includes 100 hours community service, at least half of which must be served at a local Humane Society.
Neither Whittier nor any members of his family wanted to comment on camera.
He’s due back in court Feb.12 for a restitution hearing.