Crime

Corrections officer found guilty in dog’s hot car death

nthomas@centredaily.com

The corrections officer in charge of handling Totti, a 2-year-old yellow Labrador, was found guilty of animal cruelty after the dog’s death in July.

Former Sgt. Chad Holland was charged after an investigation by the Department of Corrections and state police, according to the Centre County District Attorney’s Office.

Holland left Totti unattended in a car after a morning of training exercises on July 7 at Rockview state prison. He returned three hours later to the vehicle, which had its windows and doors closed, on a day when the temperature was above 85 degrees. Totti was unresponsive and later died.

Totti’s death sparked protests in the community calling for justice. Holland wasn’t charged until late August.

Training on July 7, according to what Holland reported, began early in the day to avoid forecast hot temperatures. He unloaded narcotic training aids from his vehicle at about noon, leaving Totti inside. He also took a phone call while unloading the vehicle and entered a building. He did not return to put Totti in his kennel, which was about 10 feet away.

Members of the Drug Interdiction Unit applied ice to Totti and took him to a veterinary clinic when he was found, but he died after a seizure.

Holland, according to the DA’s office, was an assistant K-9 trainer for nine years.

District Judge Kelley Gillette-Walker sentenced Holland to two days in the Centre County Correctional Facility and a $300 fine.

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