Five months ago, the Sioux Falls Police Department added two new officers to the force: two dogs for the department's K9 unit. Like any officer on the force, they will face their share of danger. Recently, a K9 dog died in Des Moines, Iowa after being left in a hot squad car. We wanted to know what Sioux Falls Police do to protect their K9 partners....and wait until you see what we found out.
This isn't your run of the mill dog. This canine is specifically bred and trained for police work, but like any other dog, there is one thing that bring him to his knees and lead to death.
"Dogs can only perspire from their footpads and their tongue while human beings have the ability to perspire." Sergeant Jon Lohr knows the danger is real because while he may have a K9 partner, not every call he goes on requires the use of a dog, meaning sometimes Lohr is outside his squad car while his dog remains in the squad car. "There are given times when we need to be away from our vehicles and we can't have all our attention focused on the dogs and what's going on at that given time."
If Lohr does have to leave his K9 in the car, he leaves the car running and the air conditioning on. But even then after a while it can still get hot in the car, especially on days like we've seen recently where the temperatures have been in the hundreds. But listen to this; "Each one of our cars are equipped with new monitoring equipment."
It is specific equipment that monitors the inside temperature of the car...and if that temp hits a specific level, the equipment takes action. "With our cars specifically the back windows will come down, allowing some of the heat to escape and hopefully give us a bit more time to get back to our cars and realize what is going on."
And that extra time will hopefully save the life of one of Sioux Falls' four-legged finest.
Sergeant Lohr says every officer with a K9 partner knows to check on their dog frequently when the weather gets hot and humid..it's just a part of having your partner's back.
2012 KSFY News. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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