Fail-safe protects police K-9s inside hot cars

Morris County Sheriff K-9 officers have systems in place to protect their dogs in hot cars.

Morris County Sheriff K-9 officers have systems in place to protect their dogs in hot cars. (8/12/15)

MORRIS COUNTY - Every pet owner is told to never leave their animals inside of locked vehicles on hot summer days. Closed up vehicles can easily reach well over 100 degrees inside on warm days.

However, police K-9s have to travel everywhere with their human partners, and sometimes they have to stay in the vehicles. Luckily, the Morris County Sheriff's Department has plans in place to protect their canine partners.

A system called "Hot Dog" is installed in all of the K-9 vehicles. When temperatures inside reach dangerous levels, the system will automatically turn the car on, start a fan and lower the windows. The lights, horn and a pager also go off to warn the officer about the trouble.

"Our dogs are our partners. This is my livelihood," says Morris County Sheriff Sgt. Aaron Tomasini. "Knowing I have peace of mind when I walk away from the vehicle to go check out a burglary call or go and see what's going on with a scene that I know they're still safe."

The system is available for about $1,000 after installation.

The Morris County Sheriff's Office says it has never had a heat-related issue with any of its K-9 officers.

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