Keeping Police K-9's Cool in the Heat

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The dog, named Zak, died after its handler left the K-9 in the car while the deputy reconstructed a traffic accident.

Mercer County Sheriff Jeff Grey says the car should have been left running with the air conditioner on.

The Washington County Sheriff's Office is getting a new system to help keep their K-9's safe in the heat.

"What happens is the interior of the vehicle gets what is called a greenhouse effect. Certain wavelengths of light will heat up the entire and those wavelengths won't be able to exit the vehicle so the vehicle continues to get hotter and hotter. That's one reason we tint the windows on the vehicles to reduce the amount of those wavelengths coming into the vehicle and reduce the interior temperature," says Lieutenant Pat Gherke.

"And it gives him a reading of the inside temperature of his vehicle. It also gives him an alert if the interior temperature gets above 82 degrees. It'll set off the car horn, it'll roll the windows down and it'll turn on an 8" fan in the window to circulate the air. It'll also set his pager off to allow him to know there's a problem with the vehicle so he can return and check on his K-9," says Lt. Gherke.

Lt Gherke also says K-9's helped solve countless missing persons and drug related cases.

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