Heat Wave

Thank goodness for air conditioning.

A uniform, a bullet proof vest, hiking boots and all the law enforcement gear do not make great hot weather attire, and I’m not sure how officers in Ontario or the southern States handle this type of heat and humidity on a regular basis. 

As for our four legged partners, heat exhaustion is one of the leading causes of death among police dogs. 

In the past two months several police dogs have died in the States and in the UK after officers left their K9’s in their vehicles in warm temperatures.  According to studies, it only takes minutes for temperatures inside a closed vehicle to reach lethal highs.  Because our dogs cannot speak to tell us it’s too hot, and because dogs do not sweat (they release heat by panting), it is imperative we look after them.

Our police dogs spend the majority of their work day travelling in a police car so the VPD installed temperature monitors in each of the K9 vehicles.  When turned on, the monitor alerts the handler with an alarm when the interior temperature reaches an unacceptable level, and the windows in the vehicle automatically lower to allow air flow.  Each vehicle is also outfitted with a system that allows the a/c to remain running with the driving system disabled, permitting the handler to leave their dog in the vehicle for a period of time without having to worry the dog will overheat.  

So the next time you see an SUV with cages on the rear windows and a barking dog in the back idling at the curb, you will know why we have left it running – not because we are throwing caution to the wind in an attempt to disregard emission reduction efforts, but because we are trying to keep our furry partners comfortable, able to do their job and more importantly, alive.

Please don’t scream and rant at us for doing so.

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