COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — The death of a police dog left in his handler's car in South Carolina is a reminder that hot cars can be as dangerous for the animals as chasing criminals.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals spokeswoman Catie Cryar says at least three police dogs have died from heat stress inside vehicles so far in 2018. That number is unofficial, because there is no requirement to report the deaths of police dogs to the government.

Last year PETA counted 13 police dog heat deaths.

"Turbo," a Labrador mix, died in July after being left in a vehicle for more than six hours. His Columbia police officer handler was suspended for five days without pay.

The Officer Down Memorial Page lists three police dogs killed by gunfire this year.