"Emotionally distressed" DPS officer placed on leave - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

'Emotionally distressed' DPS officer placed on leave after K-9's death

Posted: Updated:
Korey Lankow and Jeg (Source: Arizona Dept. of Public Safety) Korey Lankow and Jeg (Source: Arizona Dept. of Public Safety)
TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

A criminal investigation is underway regarding an Arizona Department of Public Safety officer accused of forgetting his K-9 partner in a hot patrol car, leading to the dog's death.

Veterinarians say they were forced to euthanize Jeg a day after he was left in a hot car for an hour. Temperatures inside that patrol vehicle reached upwards of 115 degrees. 

The Tucson Police Department is conducing an investigation. DPS officer Korey Lankow faces charges from leaving an animal in a car, a misdemeanor, to felony animal cruelty.

According to DPS spokesman Carrick Cook, Lankow was in the process of changing vehicles when he got a call of a rollover accident.

In his split-second reaction to respond, he forgot his beloved partner, Jeg. Cook says Lankow is emotionally devastated, "He, up until the very end, stayed with Jeg. He was in the kennel with him all day laying next to him, giving him comfort, trying to give him strength."

But despite all that, and the best efforts of veterinarians, Jeg had to be euthanized just after 2:30 this afternoon because of organ failure.

This all started Wednesday when Lankow was switching his gear from one vehicle to another when he heard the call of a rollover accident on I-19. Cook says his instinct to help took over.

"He thought, 'I need to go help that person,' and immediately took off," Cook said. "While he was en route he realized that his dog was still in his car."

That's when Lankow turned around and headed straight back to DPS headquarters near TIA, but instead of calling, he rushed to his dog's aid. A puzzling decision Cook says will be a key part of the investigation.

"The only thing I could think of what happened is that his concern in his head is that his family member is struck in that car and he needs to help him," Cook said. "I don't have an answer as to why he didn't call ahead."

What is known, the devastation officer Lankow is dealing with now.

"He understands he left the dog there, it's his responsibility, that's why he's taking it so hard," Cook says. "When they euthanized Jeg, his wife was there and his captain was there. A lot of people were there because it's a horrible thing, it's like losing one of their kids."

Cook says Lankow is so emotional over the loss that he's been placed on administrative leave.

Lankow has been with the Department of Public Safety for six and a half years. Cook says he's one of the agencies top drug interdiction officers. Before his police duties, Lankow served in the U.S. Air Force for 22 years.

Copyright 2012 Tucson News Now. All Rights Reserved.

Powered by WorldNow
Fox 5
Powered by WorldNow CNN
All content © 2014, KVVU Broadcasting Corporation, Las Vegas, NV and WorldNow. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service..