A woman could go to prison after a police dog was hit by a semi and killed.
Nowata police say the woman let the dog out onto Highway 169, where it was hit by a semi.
It’s something that Nowata Police Chief Mike McElhaney says would have never happened if the woman had just listened to the officer.
The Nowata Police Department is mourning the loss of Smokey, a CLEET certified drug detection dog.
“This is unfortunate. I hate it,” said McElhaney. “It’s basically, we lost an officer, a very valuable tool for our department, a friend, and a companion.”
Police say Officer Jeramiah Frauenberger stopped two people walking down the center of Highway 169 Tuesday night. A woman, who police believe was under the influence of something, asked Frauenberger if he had his dog with him and if they could have a ride.
Officers say Frauenberger told the woman he did have his dog with him and that he couldn’t take them anywhere.
“At that time, he said he seen her reaching for the door and yelled, ‘Do not open that door!’ and she did. She opened the door,” said McElhaney.
According to police, Smokey jumped out of the car and ran across the highway, but when he heard his handler call, he turned and ran back across the highway and was struck by a semi.
“The truck driver didn’t see him,” stated McElhaney. “Unfortunately, our dog, Smokey, was killed.”
The Chief says this is a devastating loss, not only for the department, but also for the community. He credits their K9 program with taking countless drugs off of the streets.
“It’s a felony, whether she meant to do it or not,” he said. “A K9 officer was killed in the line of duty. The fact is the lady was intoxicated and she didn’t have to open the door.”
Killing a police dog has a possible fine of $1,000 and up to five years in prison.
The Nowata Police Department are planning a memorial service for Smokey.