NOW LIVE: Eyewitness News

Pennsylvania Police Officer Suspended 60 Days In K-9’s Death

NEW CASTLE, Pa. (AP) — A western Pennsylvania police officer will remain suspended without pay for 60 days because the police dog he handled died from heat stroke from being left in a hot squad car for nearly four hours.

New Castle police Officer James Hoyland did not attend the city council hearing at which the suspension was imposed Wednesday night and does not have a listed phone.

Hoyland has been suspended without pay since June 6, and the suspension imposed by council is retroactive to that date. He also will not be allowed to handle police dogs for the 37-officer department about 45 miles northwest of Pittsburgh.

Police Chief Thomas Sansone was the only person to testify at Wednesday’s disciplinary hearing, saying the 6-year-old Dutch shepherd named Chico died in Hoyland’s cruiser on June 4 while temperatures were in the 80s.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

Top Content On CBSPhilly

  • MZMZ

    OH…… MY…. GOD!
    No doubt out F’ing around.
    Charge him with animal neglect! PUT HIM IN JAIL!

  • Mia

    OMG!!! Where was he in the 4 hours???????? The police get calls about dogs in vehicles all theitme – why would he not know what the heck is going on???? At least, he swas suspended WITHOUT pay!! So many times people are suspended WITH pay, which makes no snese at all!!
    He should be fired and punished!!! No more police job for him, anywhere!!

  • NRA

    The officer should be tried for manslauter and fined the cost of a trained K-9. If a K-9 is killed by a suspect. The suspect is tried for murder.

  • Rin tin tin

    I say promote him to police chief. Because can you imagine what else the current chief is sweeping under the rug or letting slide? At least this d-bag is too dumb to be slick.

  • Randy McKnight

    This officer should be charged with man slaughter. If a civilian were responsible for this dogs death they would be charged with murder or manslaughter. What’s good for the goose…..

  • Troopah

    As a police officer and dog lover, I am disgusted by this officer’s actions. He should be canned from the department and criminally charged.

  • R- E- D

    Had another cop here in Texas do some thing…………HE only got 2 weeks off with out pay!!! I’m a retired cop and I agree, THIS IS WRONG!!!

  • reality


  • william north

    arrest him for animal crualty he should be held responsibal moreso than anyone being he is suspose to uphold the law cant put into words what a discrace this is. throw him in jail with bubba

  • Omega2324

    If a person kills a police dog he would be charged with assult on a police officer. That is correct a K-9 is a working dog and is considered an officer of the law. Police officer Hoyland is a trained K-9 handler. Leaving his partner in a car for four hours is criminal. That was tax payers dollars that went into the purchase and training of the K-9 officer. As his handler he should be held to a high standard. Most K-9 dogs would take a bullet to protect their master. Poor Dog. Officer Hoyland should be demoted. His arrest powers revoked. Let him clean the the dog kennels under supervision for the rest of his law enforcement carrer.

  • Dog lover

    So many people fail to realize that when they say “just a dog” you might as well say “just a life”. Dogs are living breathing things, they are just like human babies. They can feel, they know whats going on. This dog had to suffer for 4 hours in possibly a 120 degree police car. You tell me why this police officer shouldn’t be charged for murder.

  • hadenoughuc

    He should not only be arrested but also thrown off the police squad for being so imcompitant.if this is any sign of whats to come he needs to go now.

  • joni


  • kate

    i agree on many counts on this story
    he should be charged with animal cruelty– just like any other citizen
    i also thought if a K9 died while on duty the person would be arrested and prosecuted.
    at the very least he should be removed from the police force.
    he is plain stupid and the animal should never have been intrusted with someone like that. can i ask where was he for 4 hours that the animal sat waiting in the car??

    • JanPre

      Yeah 4 hours – I was thinking the same thing. I thought the K-9s were their partners. How could he do that to h is partner? Sadly, that dog would have protected him with his own life. How ironic.

  • liz

    Charge him with animal cruelty! That poor baby suffered! R.I.P Chico….

  • Linda Nevin

    That is so heart breaking. I just look at my dogs eyes and cant imagine anyone doing something so negligent and wreckless to the point to cause the animals death. Sickening. He should have to spend 12 hours aday for the 2 months he is suspended at an animal shelter. He needs work duty, not vacation time off.

  • Mudfoot

    He should be protested! Shows you the level of competence of PA’s finest! And they carry guns???????

  • Carl Schmidt

    Here’s where I’m confused: if a regular citizen kills a police dog it’s considered a crime on level with killing a cop. So why doesn’t this guy suffer the same wrath? A 60 day suspension is hardly fitting.

  • Zzbar

    What a BIG IDIOT. Kick this clown off of the police force. He lacks good judgement, and I really think he is on some kind of drug to be that stupid. Just my opinion. And my comment might get flagged.

  • Char T

    this IDIOT should be stripped of his title as an “Officer” and charged with animal cruelty like anyone else! so sorry Chico, RIP! :(

  • Jack Kligerman

    If it was your dog in a car he will arrest you in the blink of an eye and tell you he would never do something like that.

    • Barbara

      I was thinking the same thing, Why is it regular people get arrested for animal cruelty when they leave their dog in the car, but when an officer does it, they get no charges? In my mind, a police officer that breaks the law is worse than an ordinary citizen breaking the law. They are taught what the laws are, why they should enforce a particular law, and what the consequences are for breaking said laws. A regular citizen could, at least, use ignorance of the law as an excuse(although I don’t believe anyone with a drivers license is blind to the fact that a car gets extremely hot when it’s closed up during the summer months.)

      • Clint

        Perfectly stated Barbara!

  • Mama

    Is this level of stupidity acceptable for police officers? I guess it is, since he is still employed. He should be fired immediately.

  • Guess Who

    Lock HIM in the car for four hours.

  • dawn

    he now should be arrested for animal cruelty.

    • CyberianFox

      K-9 dogs are considered “partners” aren’t they? He should be responsible for the death, charged and serve time in jail.


    • EyeofTreb

      Like many others I agree this poor excuse of a law enforcement officer should be arrested immediately. There is nothing that can excuse his actions in causing that animals death. Not sure about the rest of the country but was reported here in local paper this week that leaving a pet in a car and its death occuring carries a 1 to 5 year prison sentence, This person who is not even worthy of being called an officer anymore should face no less than that punishment. Arrest him and do your damned jobs right.

    • CLYDE


    • hadenoughuc

      This but head should be locked up for animal cruelty ,Like everyone else would be if then even just left an animal in a car too long.

    • Brian Smith


    • Robert Dungan

      Besides the cruelty and negligence to the poor Canine Public Servant, the Tens Of Thousands Of Dollars invested in Training this Animal, paid of course by the taxpayers, has been criminally wasted. No one should be allowed to “Protect and Serve” who does not place the well being of his Dependent Animal ahead of his own comfort. Charge him, and fire him, and absolutely fine him and do not give him any pension.

      • ed stevens

        very well spoken by all the people who commented on this .lock him up they would do it to us

    • merlene miller

      He should be removed from the Police Force….someone this stupid should not be carrying a gun.

      • hadenoughuc

        very true

      • Peter

        Agree! How stupid do you have to be not to realize that when it is in the 80’s outside a car will be 130+. Today it will be close to 160 in cars

    • ChickSyx Tsyx


    • JPinPhilly

      It’s just a dog. He shouldn’t be punished any more harshly than if he damaged any other police equipment. Reserve the animal cruelty charges for those whose actions indicate a tendency toward violence toward people.

      • guest

        Police dogs are considered officers. If a citizen kicked a police dog they would be charged with assault on a police officer. Also, I can see an average pet owner being that stupid, but a highly trained animal handler in charge of a valuable animal like that shows a level of incompetence that puts the public at risk.

      • Clint

        they should put you and the officer in a car for 4 hours with windows up! if you’re still breathing afterward then post your moronic comments!

      • Kathy Thompson

        People who do not have a tendency toward violence toward people cannot pass the required tests to become cops!!! Pull your head out of the sand, please!

    • Sue

      He should be dawn. He should not have a job. That is just plain stupid!!!!

blog comments powered by Disqus
Taz Goes Big!
Download Now!

Listen Live