Cool News for Beaverton K9 Officers: From KPTV

By KPTV Staff13 P-K9 UNIT HEAT ALARMS_KPTV7566_1323

It’s dangerous to leave pets in a parked car under the heat of the sun, but sometimes police don’t have a choice when it comes to their K-9 partners, based on some of the calls they go on.

To protect their K-9 officers, Beaverton Police Department SUVs are now equipped with heat alarms and air conditioning units keep to keep the dogs cool during hot summer days.

To show FOX 12 how the alarms work, Beaverton Officer Anthony Bastinelli turned off his SUV with his K-9 Officer Kahz still inside, and walked away.

In 12 minutes, the temperature in his car rose from 72 degrees to 87 degrees. That drastic change in temperature was enough to trigger a heat sensor in the officer’s patrol vehicle to push out an alert to a pager that he wears at all times, warning him that it is too hot in the car for Kahz.

That sensor also sets off a loud alarm and automatically rolls down the windows in Bastinelli’s car to allow fresh air inside.

“It’s part of the package they do for us when we get a K-9 vehicle. There’s a lot involved in setting all of it up, but it’s all to protect the dogs,” Bastinelli said, adding that having a system like this is critical in high heat.

“It gets too hot for me, so I can imagine it does for him,” he continued. “If he gets too hot, like any other animal, he’ll start panting and become disoriented. Hopefully systems like this will prevent that.”

Bastinelli said the department selects specific SUVs for their K-9 Units in part because of where the AC falls. In his car, there are two AC vents that push air down over the kennel and directly onto Kahz.

K-9 vehicles equipped with similar systems are used by other law enforcement agencies as well, including Hillsboro, Marion County and Clackamas County.

Portland Police Bureau officials said the department does not currently have heat alarms, but will most likely get them in their replacement vehicles.

For more local news stories, visit www.kptv.com