Deputy charged in deaths of police dogs left in hot car

Deputy Steve Benoy

SAN ANTONIO (AP) — A South Texas sheriff’s deputy has been indicted in the 2012 deaths of two police dogs allegedly forgotten in a hot patrol vehicle.

A Bexar County grand jury on Thursday indicted Deputy Steve Benoy on misdemeanor animal cruelty charges. Online jail records Friday did not list Benoy, who’s been on administrative leave since the July 2012 incident, as being in custody.

Investigators have said Benoy discovered the two Belgian Malinois dogs dead in a county-owned SUV at his residence. Authorities believe the deputy drove home, parked the vehicle, went out and forgot to put the dogs in their regular quarters.

The animals died of heat exhaustion.

Benoy, who’s been a dog handler for more than a dozen years, faces up to a year in jail if convicted.

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