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Keeping OCSD K9s cool in record-breaking heat

As Orange County braces for record-setting temperatures this week, it’s a good time to remind residents about the dangers of leaving their pets in the car.

When it’s warm outside, temperatures inside a vehicle can skyrocket to well over 100 degrees within minutes, which can cause pets to easily overheat. On a week like this, when temperatures are expected to reach triple digits, taking pets along in the car and leaving them for any length of time can be dangerous.

Pet owners are advised to never leave their fur friends in the car, even for short errands and even if the windows are slightly rolled down.

But what about our Orange County Sheriff Department K9s who spend much of their day in a patrol car while on duty?

The OCSD K9 Unit has their four-legged partners covered with specialized tools to ensure K9 safety.

The OCSD K9 Unit has the ACEK9 “Hot N’ Pop” Pro installed in all patrol K9 vehicles.  If the temperature inside the vehicle creeps too high, the unit activates an S.O.S. horn honk signal, siren, light-bar activation and dual window drop to immediately equalize the internal temperature of the vehicle. 

K9s handlers park in the shade and either leave the unit running with the cooling system on or find a place to park for their partners to enjoy a nice cross breeze (yes, the windows have cages on them.)

Handlers also frequently take their K9s out for breaks and, if their partner has been really good, may even treat them to an ice cream snack, according to K9 Handler Pablo Alvarez.

We hear our K9s try to convince their partners to stop for these special breaks even in the dead of winter. Who can blame them?