LAKE STATION, Ind. — Authorities believe the combination of dangerous temperatures and malfunctioning air conditioning in a box truck led to the deaths of some police K-9s in Lake Station, Indiana. 

Police say the driver stopped at the Road Ranger gas station on Ripley Street to get the dogs out of their crates after hearing them bark. 

Nicole Lubarski witnessed the K-9 in distress.

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“I saw kennels lined up behind this white box truck and I honestly knew it had to do something with dogs and it was not well,” she said. “It was very chaotic. There were a bunch of people bystanders trying to help these dogs. There were so many people in the gas stations where dogs were cooling off at. A bunch of them had IVs.” 

As a dog mom of two, Lubarski said witnessing the K-9s in distress broke her heart.  

“It dropped immediately because you have to think how intense that heat must’ve been,” Lubarski said. 

Lake County police said the K-9s came from Europe and were being transported from O’Hare Airport to a training facility in Michigan City. Police went on to say that the driver was stuck in traffic for two hours and wasn’t aware the AC wasn’t working in the separated cargo area where the dogs were. 

Jennifer Webber of the Humane Society of Hobart said there were 18 German shepherds. 

 “We know five right now are still hospitalized, four were allowed to leave,” Webber said. “We believe we have lost a total of seven right now, maybe eight.” 

Webber feels the dogs went through needless suffering and hopes justice and accountability can be served.