K-9 Dead; Officer Accused of Leaving Dog in Car for 6 Hours

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A Mills Police officer is accused of leaving his K-9 dog in a police vehicle for over 6 hours with no air conditioning, ventilation, or water as a result of those six hours in the heat. The animal was found dead in the patrol vehicle.

According to an affidavit obtained from Natrona County Circuit Court, the dog was K-9 Nyx and he was in the custody of Officer Zachary Lee Miller of the Mills Police Department.

A Division of Criminal Investigations officer looked into the incident and describes video footage that shows Nyx being left in the patrol vehicle with the windows up shortly before 6 A.M. on July 9th and Officer Miller not returning to the vehicle until shortly after noon when he found Nyx dead in the back of the car.

The affidavit also says it was 86 degrees outside that day and the patrol car was parked behind the station. Officer Miller was accompanied by officer Jake Bigelow who was training under officer Miller that day. The affidavit outlines Miller's recollection of the events. Miller says he yelled at Bigelow for not leaving the air conditioner on. Although Miller acknowledged he was the one responsible for the animal.

News 13 has asked Mills Police Chief Bryon Preciado for an interview but he declined to comment. He did say officer Miller is still employed by the Mills Police Department and is on leave right now for unrelated personal reasons.

Miller entered a plea of not guilty for the misdemeanor charge of not providing a dog with adequate water, food, or protection from the weather. Miller is scheduled to appear in court soon, stay with News 13 as we learn more on this developing story.