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Dogs in Cars
Arizona cops test heat protection device for police dogs.
Officer Aaron Brewer and his K-9 partner, Havoc, demonstrate a new warning system.

The other day, I left my dogs in the car. We’d just returned from a visit to my off-leash area. The dogs were quiet. I was distracted. I walked inside, put my coat and keys away, checked for new phone and email messages, and suddenly realized my glue-dog was not using my legs as weave poles. As always, they took it in stride.

So when I read the story today about the new warning system at the Peoria Police Department in Arizona, I instantly appreciated the conceit. When the dog is in the car, his weight on a mat keeps the engine and air-conditioning running even after the driver removes the keys from the ignition. If the A/C fails, the mat triggers an alarm. A few weeks earlier, I might have thought this was overkill but I know different. And I’m not a cop with urgent, life-and-death business on my mind.

It’s a smart response. Protecting the K-9s, who protect us, is a fitting tribute to Chandler, a police dog who died from exposure in 2007 after his handler forgot he was in the car. The rest of us need to rely on our faulty brains, and remember the serious risk posed by heat to dogs in cars.

Lisa Wogan lives in Seattle and is the author of, most recently, Dog Park Wisdom. lisawogan.com

Peoria Police Department

CommentsPost a Comment
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Submitted by Rob | April 10 2009 |

I totally agree; ignorant people bash inventions but LOVE the ones that make THEIR lives better. I'm not a cop, I'm an IT professional, and I run ALL day solving problems. I AUTOMATE whenever I can, so I can take on HIGHER priorities.

Before I read your blog, I had already thought the same thing... a cop is chasing a murderer or rapist, who is armed and dangerous, stops the car, gets out to chase the criminal... but wait, "Did I leave the car running... or not? I don't recall because I was focused on saving lives...?

Exactly, saving lives is what you DO... and for $800? That's the best, most logical investment for a $150,000 trained professional (i.e. the dog... sorry!). We already know how IMPORTANT you are... ;>0

thought I'd post the manufacturer's site --> http://ocualert.com


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