GREEN BAY, Wis.(WFRV)- As we continue into the summer months and the hot and humid weather, keeping police K9s cool in their patrol vehicles. Green Bay Police K9 handler Officer Jeff Brann has been on patrol with Drago for three years. “The best part of the job is being able to go into work and take my best friend with me every time,” said Brann.
Brann not only treats Drago like a fellow Officer, but he is also a part of his family. Keeping him safe is his top priority. “We keep our air conditioning running pretty much all the time during this weather our cars stay on,” said Brann. There is now additional technology to try and prevent tragic situations from happening to the dog. In 2015, Brown County Sheriff’s K9 Wix died as a result of a malfunctioning air conditioning system. The Sheriff’s investigation determined the squad car had a K9 heat alarm, but it did not activate when the ac unit failed. “If we aren’t able to get out to our car within a reasonable time, and the temperature starts going up, we actually have a warning system that tells us the temperature is on the way up,” said Brann.
The police vehicles are equipped with sensors in the front and where the dog is to gauge the temperature of the vehicle. When it gets to a certain preset danger temperature, the app will send a text message to the handler and others designated. “Today is a perfect example, it’s hot and muggy outside and it only takes a few minutes for the temperature inside of the vehicle to get pretty hit especially with the dog inside of it,” said Officer Samuel Santiago of the Neenah Police Department.
For the last year and a half Officer Santiago has been partnered with “Cam,” who is a multiple use dog. “Say I’m up at the Hospital or on a different call for service for an extended period of time. On the app, I am able to check in on the temperature and see if it’s getting too hot or too cold for him,” said Santiago.
Both Neenah and Green Bay Departments have vehicles that have a “hot and pop” pro system by Ace K9. It monitors the car remotely and when it detects danger, it will activate the horn, lights and sirens. It will also drop the rear windows down and turn on a fan for the dog to get some ventilation while help arrives. The vehicles also have water bowls. The advice for everyone this summer, “My advice to anyone with pets is if you absolutely don’t have to take them out, don’t take them out,” said Brann. “It only takes 5 minutes for the heat to get too high for a dog inside of a vehicle,” said Santiago.