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Memorial held for Hialeah K9s left in hot SUV

Dogs die after being left in Officer Nelson Enriquez's SUV after late work shift

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HIALEAH, Fla. – A memorial was held Monday for two Hialeah police K9s, who died after being left in a hot SUV by their handler.

The 7-year-old bloodhound named Jimmy came to the Hialeah Police Department in 2008. Police said his sense of smell was invaluable.

"Jimmy's resume in the past seven years was full of hundreds of searches," Hialeah police Sgt. Carl Zogby said.

Jimmy's focus was finding children, which is why he was donated to the department by the Jimmy Ryce Foundation.

"It's been a little rough for me, because I went to pick him up when he was 5 months old several years ago, and I find my way back to Gainesville to pick up his remains," Cmdr. Ernesto Gutierrez said.

"Jimmy's greatest gift was his ability to make people fall in love with him," Zogby said.

Also killed last month was 3-year-old Hektor, a Belgian Malinois, who was one of four criminal apprehension dogs.

Although Hektor was a rookie in the world of K9s, he had completed hundreds of hours of training.

"If you know anything about Belgian Malinois, you will acknowledge that they are perfectly bred for police work," Zogby said.

Police described Hektor as intelligent, brave and friendly yet assertive.

Last month, Hialeah police said Officer Nelson Enriquez left the dogs in his police-issued SUV after working a late shift. The officer later found the dogs dead inside their cargo transport crates.

Enriquez has been relieved of duty with pay pending the outcome of the investigation.

Davie police are also conducting an investigation, because the dogs were found dead in the vehicle outside Enriquez's Davie home.

Davie police Sgt. Pablo Castaneda told Local 10 News that the dogs' necropsy results have not been returned by the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine.

He said once the results are in, it will be sent to the State Attorney's Office, who will decide whether to pursue criminal charges against Enriquez. 

With police helicopters above, other police dogs and officers made their way to the memorial to pay one last tribute to the two K9s.

"Remember always a hero never dies, and may your contributions to the citizens you serve live in our hearts forever," Gutierrez said.

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