After a car malfunction lead to the death of a K9 officer in California last month, many police handlers are taking extra precautions to make sure that doesn’t happen as a heat wave sits over the Ohio Valley. Wintersville Police Chief Art Fowler and his K9, Ali, gave us a first hand of the technology being used to help keep K9 officers safe.
“Within five minutes our car went from 75 to 90 (degrees),” said Fowler. “People don’t realize how hot it gets inside the cars. They’re leaving their personal pets inside the car, and they just don’t realize how hot it gets and how quick.”
The K9 police cruiser, in Wintersville has an alarm installed. When one sensor hits 90 degrees, a pre-alert goes off, and then, when the second one hits 90 degrees, it goes into full alert. The horn starts honking, all of the windows roll down, and a fan in the back kicks on. It’s not rare for police K9s to spend long parts of the day in their handler’s car.
“They’re more than a partner. He’s part of my family. We’ve been partners for eight years. I don’t want nothing to happen to him, and it may not even be my fault: such as the AC quitting, the car stalling. Whatever it may be, that system helps me keep him safe even when I’m not close to the car.”
It is illegal to leave an animal inside of a hot car. If you ever see one, call 911 or police immediately.