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California Briefing / SAN DIEGO

Officer fined in his dog's death

August 29, 2008|Tony Perry

A veteran San Diego police officer pleaded no contest Thursday to a misdemeanor charge of animal neglect.

Officer Paul Hubka, a 22-year veteran of the department, was ordered to pay a $411 fine and $4,941 in restitution for the death of his police dog.

The dog, a 5-year-old Belgian Malinois, died of heatstroke after being left in the back of Hubka's police car on a day when temperatures exceeded 100 degrees.

Hubka was also ordered to perform 100 hours of community service and will serve three years' probation.

After the death of the dog, named Forrest, Hubka was transferred out of canine patrol, where he had served most of his career.

He said that leaving the dog in the back of his car was a mistake. He had returned home after an overnight shift and had left the dog in the car.

With 45 dogs for patrol and weapons and drug duties, the San Diego Police Department has the largest K-9 unit of any department in the country.

-- Tony Perry

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