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Lightning strike kills police dog in Florida

MIAMI (Reuters) - A lightning strike apparently killed a police dog in northern Florida after the animal was left in a kennel during a thunderstorm, the local police department said on Tuesday.

Announcing the news "with heavy hearts," the Panama City Beach Police Department said in a brief statement that its K-9 officer, named Argo, had served for about five years with the same handler.

The News Herald, a local newspaper, said the dog's body was found with most of the hair missing from his right front leg.

It said the Belgian Malinois was found by the daughter of the canine's handler, who had been attending a training session.

The police department says its two K-9 units help in the detection and seizure of controlled substances and contraband, as well as being trained in offender tracking and apprehension.

(Reporting by Daniel Wallis; Editing by Sandra Maler)