A police dog was found dead inside his handler's patrol car in Woodstock, Georgia, according to authorities on Tuesday.
Spartacus, a three-year-old Belgian Malinois, had been inside a K-9 handlers car, which was parked outside of his home, according to Woodstock Police Department spokesperson Brittany Duncan in a written statement.
The statement confirmed that Spartacus had died of a heat stroke, according to CNN.
While the statement did not identify the handler at hand, it included that he was a 9-year police veteran who has worked as a K-9 handler for seven of those years.
"After the retirement of his first police K-9, who is now a family pet living with the K-9 handler, the handler is devastated by the loss of his second police K-9," Duncan said.
Duncan did not add why the car was parked at the handler's home or how long Spartacus had been in the car, but that an internal investigation was going on.
"The K9 handler is currently on administrative leave with pay pending the outcome of an internal investigation," said Duncan, according to CNN.
Spartacus was trained in both drug detection and apprehension, according to the department. A memorial service for the K-9 is to be announced.
Belgian Malinois, also known as Belgian Shepherds, are often used on tasks such as detection of odors of explosives, arson accelerants and narcotics as well as tracking humans for search and rescue.
The breed is popular with Eva Mendes, who once defended her pup during an interview with New York Magazine.
The actress noted how the prying media has even affected her Belgian Malinois named Hugo.
"I'll go somewhere and they'll be like, 'Hey, Hugo,'" recounted Mendes, according to NY Magazine. "And I'm like, 'How do you know Hugo's name? That's so creepy!'"
The actress joked that she wished American publications would blur out her pets' faces just as British publications blur the faces of celebrity's children in order to maintain privacy.
Continuing to discuss her beloved pet, Mendes appeared on "The Late Show with David Letterman" in April.
"His name's Hugoooo," the actress elucidated. "Well, 'Ugo' if I'm upset or need to give him a command."
The "Place Beyond the Pines" star noted that her Belgian Malinois dog is among the same breed of canine that "went in to get Osama."
Because of Hugo's attack instincts, Mendes admitted that she uses a shock collar, but reassured viewers that she has used the device on herself to ensure safety.
"It goes from 0-110," said the actress. "I do not do it on my neck… I tested it on my arm. It's more than a tingle, it's way more than a tingle."