Cook County Forest Preserves K-9 “Drago” died Wednesday June 14, 2017 while locked in a patrol car, and apparently from complications caused by heat exposure, Cook County officials report.
The K-9 police dog is believed to have been left unattended in the forest preserve police car while the officer processed an alleged suspect at the Oak Forest Police Department, according to Lambrini Lukidis, communications director for the forest preserves.
“We are heartbroken to lose a canine member of the Forest Preserves of Cook County Police Department. The protection of wildlife and living things are at the core of our mission and we take this loss very seriously. We are currently looking into the circumstances of this incident.”
— Cook County Forest Preserves statement
Oak Forest police officers and firefighter/paramedics tried to revive Drago after the Cook County Forest Preserve officer discovered his stricken dog.
National Weather Service Records at O’Hare International Airport near Oak Forest …
Air temperature at O’Hare was 82°F by 8:51 a.m. on Wednesday June 14, 2017.
Air temperature at O’Hare was 87°F by 10:51 a.m. on Wednesday June 14, 2017.
The high temperature for the day at O’Hare was 92°F at 12:53 p.m. on Wednesday June 14, 2017.
The heat index was 91°F by 10:51 a.m. on Wednesday June 14, 2017.
The heat index was 96°F by 12:51 p.m. on Wednesday June 14, 2017.
The heat index was 97°F by 1:51 p.m. on Wednesday June 14, 2017.
The record high for the date was 99°F — holding since 1987.
Drago was a member of the Cook County forest preserves police K-9 unit for three years. In April 2017, the Drago was credited with locating a dementia patient after he went missing.
The Cook County Forest Preserve District Police are a separate unit from the Cook County Sheriff’s Police Department and are not administered by the Cook County Sheriff.
The Cook County Forest Preserve District Police are known to work with patrol cars, four-wheel drive vehicles, snowmobiles, K-9 units, watercraft, and All Terrain Vehicles (ATVs).