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Posted: June 19, 2013 9:16 a.m.

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Ga. police dog found dead in handler's car

WOODSTOCK, Ga. (AP) — A Woodstock police officer has been placed on paid administrative leave after a police dog was left in his car and died of a heat stroke.

The Atlanta Journal Constitution  reports 3-year-old Spartacus, a Belgian malinois, was found dead inside an unidentified officer's patrol car Monday at his home in Pickens County. Spartacus performed narcotics searches, tracking and helped with apprehensions.

Woodstock Police spokeswoman Brittany Duncan says the dog's handler is devastated by the loss and had worked with police dogs for nine years. Duncan says the handler's former canine partner is now a family pet and lives with him.

Officials say a memorial for Spartacus will be held at a later date.

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