Just days after two K-9s, one in Texas and one in Georgia, died after being left in hot cars by their handlers, a South Carolina sheriff’s department has announced new measures it’s taking to make sure the same thing never happens to one of their K-9 officers.
The Sumter County Sheriff’s Office’s K-9 Unit has upgraded its patrol cars to include the ACE K9 Hot-N-Pop Pro System using donations from multiple local companies and individuals, The State reported. (Scroll down for demo video.)
The alarm system reminds officers to remove their K-9 from the car upon exiting and is linked to a pager that sends further warnings if the temperature rises by just 3 degrees. It will also activate a honking sound to get the officer’s attention. Even when the car has been turned off, the system doesn’t shut down until the rear door is opened and the dog is removed.
If the officer doesn’t remove the dog and the temperature begins to climb, the system will automatically turn on a fan, roll down the windows, and set off a vehicle alarm.
The system costs about $3,000 per vehicle, Lt. Larry Wix of the sheriff’s office told The State.
On June 2, San Juan police officer Juan Cerrillo Jr. left his Belgian Malinois partner, Rex, in a car on a day when temperatures were in the 90s. He’s currently facing charges for cruelty to non-livestock animals, according to KXAN.
Temperatures were also in the 90s in Georgia on June 10 when Cherokee County School Police Lt. Daniel Peabody accidentally left his Belgian Malinois partner, Inka, inside the car for almost three hours. Inka, who was only 4 years old, passed away. Peabody is currently on administrative leave, WSBT reports, but a decision has not yet been reached on whether he will face charges.