Term of Award

Spring 2024

Degree Name

Master of Science, Criminal Justice and Criminology

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (open access)

Copyright Statement / License for Reuse

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology

Committee Chair

Amanda Graham

Committee Member 1

Logan Somers

Committee Member 2

Cassandra Dodge


Police K-9s face daily dangers due to their work. Data collected by the Officer Down Memorial Page from 2000-2023 on K-9 deaths (N = 405) shows that of K-9s that die in the line of duty, many fall victim to heat stroke. Research was conducted comparing heat stroke to all other causes of death. Through an exploration into the history of mankind’s use of working dogs, the unique capabilities of both dogs and K-9 specific dog breeds and applying Routine Activity Theory and Lifestyle Routine Activity Theory to police K-9s, this study’s objective is to bring awareness to, and to offer possible remedies to, the deaths of K-9 police dogs in the United States.

OCLC Number


Research Data and Supplementary Material