LAKE COUNTY, Ind. – The Indiana State Police could soon be investigating the deaths of multiple dogs in northern Indiana.

The Lake County Prosecutor’s Office has requested that ISP conduct an investigation into the deaths of eight dogs who died while being transported from Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport to a training facility in Michigan City, Indiana in late July.

On July 27, the bodies of eight dogs were found in the back of a cargo van that did not have working air conditioning. A total of 18 dogs were in the van at the time.

The driver reportedly told police he was unaware the van’s cooling unit was not functioning. The driver also explained that he pulled over at a convenience store and gas station in Lake Station after hearing the dogs barking. After pulling the van over, the driver found the dead dogs and others suffering from heatstroke.

Five of the other dogs were transported to local veterinary hospitals for treatment.

According to previous reports, the Humane Society of Hobart said the Lake Station Police Department allowed the driver to leave the scene before evidence could be collected.

Police also reportedly referred to the deaths as a “freak event,” and insisted it was caused by mechanical disruptions and not neglect.

PETA Senior Vice President Daphna Nachminovitch condemned the deaths in a statement sent to FOX59/CBS4 Thursday night.

Nothing can bring back the dogs who slowly baked to death inside an airless, hot truck, but this is a step in the right direction toward ensuring that those responsible for their terrible suffering are held accountable and that preventative measures are put in place to avoid a devastating repeat. PETA joined the Humane Society of Hobart and the Lake Station community in pushing for this third-party investigation and trusts that the Indiana State Police Department (which has previously purchased K-9s from this company), will proceed with due diligence, for the sake of the dogs, the public’s faith, and the law.

Daphna Nachminovitch

ISP urged anyone with information to contact Detective Chris Eagles at 219-690-0043.