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Police dog dies after being struck by lightning

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A lightning strike took the life of a Florida K-9 officer named Argo, The News Herald reports.

Argo was found behind his kennel by the daughter of his handler, Corporal Jason Gleason. Argo was reportedly left in his kennel because Gleason was on his way to a training session.

According to the police report, most of the hair was missing from the Belgian Malinois’ right front leg above the paw, thought to be a result of the lightning strike.

The K-9 served with the Panama City Beach Police Department with Gleason as his handler for approximately five years. Gleason's former K-9 partner named Poncho disappeared in 2009 while tracking burglary suspects in the woods. The three suspects were later arrested, but Poncho was not seen again and was presumed dead.

Gleason, according to Police Chief Drew Whitman, is having a hard time dealing with his K-9 partner’s death. “It’s going to be a long process for him, but he knows that we are here for him” Whitman said.

Panama City Beach Police Department says on their Facebook page: “It is with heavy hearts that the Panama City Beach Police Department announces the passing of Police K-9 "Argo"… Argo died at his home on August 24th, 2014, from an apparent lightning strike. There are no immediate plans for any type of service.”

K-9 officer Argo was the departments only certified dog. He received four national certificates for K-9 officers, helped seize about $25,000 in illegal narcotics and made several felony arrests.

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