Former Iowa deputy charged with death of police dog

(ABC 6 News) – A former Boone County, Iowa deputy has been charged with the death of his own police dog.

The incident took place in Sept. 2022. Bear, a police dog with the Boone County Sheriff’s Office in central Iowa, was found dead the evening of Sept. 2 by his handler, former Boone County Sgt. Dallas Wingate.

Wingate told investigators he had put the dog in his truck around 10:00 p.m. on Sept. 1 because the dog was barking at a deer, according to documents related to a search warrant in the case. Wingate said he only remembered doing so after he went outside to feed his other dogs around 8:00 p.m. the next night and didn’t see Bear among them.

The high temperature on Sept. 2 around Boone was 89 degrees, which would have sent the temperature inside the truck well over 100 degrees.

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Wingate was put on administrative leave and ultimately resigned on Sept. 8.

According to the Story County Sheriff, Wingate turned himself in to the Story County Jail on Tuesday and was later released on bond.

Wingate is charged with one count of injury or interference of a police dog service, a class D felony in Iowa. Class D felonies are punishable by a maximum of five years in prison and a fine of $750 to $7,500.

The case will be prosecuted by the Story County attorney to avoid a conflict of interest. The Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation assisted with the investigation.

Wingate had worked for the Boone County Sheriff’s Office for 15 years.