Wednesday, September 14, 2016


A police dog with the Madison County Sheriff’s Office is dead after being left unattended in a hot vehicle, according to Sheriff Phillip Morgan. 

The K-9’s name is Lina and she was about three years old, Morgan said. Lina was acquired from donations from businesses and citizens of the county, according to the Madison County Sheriff’s Office. She came from K-9 Working Dogs International, LLC and was a Belgian Malinos. 

Lina was trained to track and detect narcotics.

Deputy Jonathon Cornelison was trained to handle Lina. Cornelison is on paid administrative leave while an investigation is being conducted by the Washington  County Sheriff's office into the dogs death.

The reported high temperature in the area was 83 degrees when the dog was left in the vehicle.

There have been more than 50 U.S. police dog deaths since 2011 from having been left in hot vehicles.

An additional 18 or so U.S. police dogs died of heatstroke after being pushed too hard during training exercises, while tied outside in direct sunlight or other reasons.

Both veteran handlers and animal advocates say such deaths are preventable and illustrate acts of negligence or over-reliance on technology to protect the dogs.

Police officers need to be held to a higher standard to protect their canine partners, said Russ Hess, a retired handler and executive director of the United States Police K9 Association.

“We’re only humans, and humans make mistakes … but the responsibility stays with the officer to check on his dog just as if it were his child,” Hess said.

Sadly, in Arkansas a child left to die in a vehicle is not too big of a deal either.  Especially if the parent that left the child in the car to die is a judge.



The Madison County Sheriff's Office ("MCSO") has suspended a deputy after the death of a K-9 officer.

The MCSO issued a news release on Monday detailing the disciplinary actions taken against Deputy Jonathon Cornelison after the Sept. 9 death of K-9 Lina, who was left inside a hot car.

The deputy will be suspended for 60 days without pay. He will be removed from the K-9 program, decertified as a K-9 Handler and issued a letter of reprimand that will be placed in his file.

The Sheriff's Office said Deputy Cornelison was negligent but his actions were not criminal. Washington County Prosecutor Matthew Durrett did not file charges against the deputy.

The investigation gave other information to the MCSO, like heat sensors in K-9 vehicles. The Sheriff's Office said additional policies on deputies getting called out are being drafted and will be put in place, as well as a closer watch on fatigue factor in the workplace.

Deputy Cornelison will return to his duties as a Deputy Sheriff after he serves his suspension.