K-9 handlers pay close attention to partners in extreme heat

K-9 handlers pay close attention to partners in extreme heat
(Source: WTOL)

TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - With temperatures well  into the 90s, we're making sure to stay hydrated. What about those who are dependent on others to keep them cool, like dogs?

Toledo Police Officer Robin Matejewski and her K-9 partner Hugo have pretty much been inseparable the past four years.

"You form that bond between you and him. He knows probably what I'm thinking or feeling before I do and reacts accordingly," said Matejewski.

Matejewski knows these hot temperatures can be dangerous for Hugo, so she pays close attention to his cues to keep him from overheating.

"Either open up the windows, I turn up the air conditioning. Whatever I can do to make him comfortable. I always make sure he has a bowl of water in the back of the police car," she said.

In addition to taking precautions, Matejewski's squad car is equipped to react if something malfunctions in the car and temperatures start to rise.

A sensor goes off and the windows automatically open and a fan kicks on.

"If I'm away from my car when that happens, I have a pager system and it alerts me, so I know immediately to get down to my vehicle, should I be away from it," said Matejewski.

Just remember, on a 95 degree day, in just a matter of 20 minutes a car can shoot up to 125 degrees.

"In approximately 15 minutes, a dog trapped in a car like that, can suffer from heat exhaustion and brain damage," said Matejewski.

Matejewski said she doesn't risk it and if she's going to be away from her squad car for an extended period of time, she brings her partner with her.

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