SAN ANTONIO -

The Bexar County Sheriff's Office is investigating the deaths of two of its patrol service dogs.

According to a statement issued by the BCSO, preliminary reports indicate the two K9s were "inadvertently left inside the patrol vehicles kennel overnight and suffered from heat exposure."

The Sheriff's office is calling the deaths a "tragic accident."

Steve Benoy, a 23-year veteran of the sheriff's office, has been assigned to the unit for 13 years. According to a BCSO representative, Benoy has a "flawless" record and is devastated by the dogs' deaths.

"Deputy Benoy has been a dedicated officer during his career (and) has never received any discipline during his tenure with the Sheriff's Office," said Sheriff Amadeo Ortiz in the statement. "It is my belief that this is a tragic accident however (and) the Sheriff's Office is following standard procedures in conducting a thorough investigation."

Animal Care Services and the Sheriff's Office Criminal Investigation Division investigating the dogs' deaths.

Benoy has been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation.