BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — The sheriff’s office is in mourning after one of its K-9s died in the line of duty Thursday.

The department identified the fallen dog as 3-year-old Belgian Malinois, Hannes and his handler Deputy Robert Fisher. The department refused to discuss the dog’s cause of death, but we do know the Belgian Malinois died after chasing down a suspect in blistering heat.      

It all started Thursday morning, when deputies were called to Panama Road near Habecker Road near Lamont on reports of a shooting. KCSO says a deputy and K-9 Hannes spent 10 to 15 minutes searching a vineyard for the shooter.It was between 11 a.m. and noon. Records say temperatures were in the mid-90s in that area at that time.

Other deputies ultimately captured the suspect, but then first responders say Hannes started showing “signs of distress.”

Hannes was rushed to a local emergency animal hospital where he later died. The Sheriff’s Office on Friday declined to elaborate on the events leading up to the death.

Deputies held a procession on Highway 99 near Seventh Standard on Friday afternoon.

KCSO says a necropsy was underway to find out how the K-9 died, so it’s unclear whether deputies were bringing the dog to its cremation or burial during Friday’s procession.

No official cause of death has been reported, but veterinarians say dogs can overheat quickly in Kern’s sweltering summer temperatures.

Local group “Back the Badge” created a fundraiser to support the handler’s family starting Aug. 23 teaming up with Cornerstone Bakery, Elite 911 and Missing Smiles of Kern County. The bakery will sell exclusive cookies and accept donations of food and gift cards, with all proceeds and donations benefiting the handler’s family.

Elite 911 will sell stickers to purchase in K-9 Hannes’ honor. Meantime Missing Smiles of Kern County invites the community to donate bags of dog food, to be passed on to local shelters.