Still no answers in drug dog’s death



A final autopsy report from the State Veterinarian has been unable to determine what killed a drug detection dog in the Shenandoah County Sheriff’s Office almost a month ago.

Rex, a 4 1/2-year-old Belgian Malinois, was found dead by his trainer May 4 in a law enforcement vehicle that was specially equipped for transporting dogs.

A news release from the Sheriff’s Office Tuesday stated the investigation into Rex’s death found “nothing suspicious or negligent in nature.”

The Sheriff’s Office also stated the State Veterinarian found no lesions associated with heat stress.

“There was no indication of heat problems in the tests they did,” Sheriff Timothy C. Carter said. “That was ruled out as a cause of death.”

Carter added that the Sheriff’s Office is making plans for a memorial service that will likely be held later this month.

The Sheriff’s Office said a heart defect identified by the State Veterinarian “could have contributed to the death.”

Rex began working with the Sheriff’s Office in July after he was acquired from a U.S. government vendor. He was previously with the U.S. military in Afghanistan.

Maj. Scott Proctor said the Sheriff’s Office remains “saddened” by the loss of Rex and “we haven’t thought about a replacement.”

“He was utilized in numerous operations and law enforcement activities in general,” Proctor said. “Rex is going to be missed.”

Contact staff writer Joe Beck at 540-465-5137 ext. 142, or

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