We Are Losing Our Beautiful K-9 Cop Friends To Heatstroke Every Summer, Why Is It Only Getting Worse Every Year?

K9 officers down - Copy     The red dogs on the chart show the huge jump of canine deaths from heat-exhaustion. I have found a few things that are really interesting. The first thing that crosses everyone’s mind when something horrid like a child or dog left in a car happens. People say “I could never do that”. Apparently, according to neurobiologists, actually we all are at risk for something awful like that, due to the increase in multitasking with our smart-phones, and the pace of modern life. As my mom has always said “there but for the grace of God go I”. How true.

Several things seemed to crop up in each case: Fatigue. Police and first responders have terrible schedules, working night shift, sleeping during the day…it’s easy to see how a mistake could happen. Another phenomenon was that people working a ‘regular schedule’, for instance they drive to work the same way every day….but one day they didn’t, and forgot the living being in the back. Yet another thing came up adding to the two factors above…a quiet rider. If the child is asleep, if the dog is quiet or asleep….it’s much easier to ‘forget’ they are in the back.

Perhaps those who are in the K-9 unit should be on a more reasonable schedule, to reduce fatigue of the human and the K-9 officer. Perhaps if the human officer is literally too tired to work, he and his dog need to take a personal day.

Psychologists studying the syndrome are calling it “Forgotten Baby Syndrome” or FBS. I guess that forgotten dogs would be FDS? Or FCS? for canine? Whatever we call it, the reasons for it in psychological literature seem to dovetail with why it happens with our K-9 friends and workers.

I do have a suggestion, at least for at risk canines, such as K-9 cops. Teach them to push a button or sensor in the back of the car. It could be portable, if for some reason the car is out of commission. Remember, these are dogs that are smarter than the average run of the mill canine…and the average, run of the mill canine is pretty darn sharp if there is something motivating him (food usually!)

When I had my first service dog, cells phones (and tower coverage) still weren’t that reliable, since we live in a mountainous area. So, we bought a big button phone. Each button was half the size of my palm. We programmed each button to “911”. Worked like a charm. We called it the “Jet phone”. He would push any of the numbers, after knocking the handset off the receiver. A 911 operator would answer, and we already had it on record with them that I had a seizure disorder…so if they heard hot panting in the receiver, not to worry. It wasn’t a prank or nasty call, but Jet calling for help for me.

Within just a few years, the phone was obsolete. We trained Jet to bring the cell phone to me if I didn’t already have it on me or in my purse. Frax retrieves the cell phone and brings it to me just like Jet learned to do.

So, if there was a ‘big button’ it could do all sorts of things. The dog is getting hot, he hits the button, the windows go down, the light’s start to flash, the horn starts to honk, or if the officer carries a smart-phone, a pre-programmed emergency call would go through to him to go immediately to check on his canine.

Similarly, the K-9 could be trained to open the back door. Our mobility dogs can do all sorts of doors, refrigerators, handicap doors, sliding doors, pocket doors, and even the old round-knob doors if a piece of braided cloth is put around it.

If you wanted to get by on the cheap, train the K-9 to jump through the middle of the seat-back and have him push and honk the horn!

Babies are more difficult to figure out what to do, but it suddenly came to me. Sensors. In the child’s clothing, already sewn in, so there is not an extra step for a sleep-deprived parent to think of. If the child’s temperature reaches a certain point~ an emergency call already pre-programed to a smart-phone, and/or also programmed to start the horn honking would start. And no, I have no idea how the sensors would be constructed, you IT wizards out there, let me know how it goes so I can purchase the first sale on the stock for your new company!

It’s really an uncomfortable subject for a lot of people. Folks can see themselves deprived of sleep, working odd hours and making poor choices. With either a dog or a child. For now, I would suggest that all police departments have one rule~ if the human isn’t in the car, neither is the dog. Period. That solves the issue, at least in the short-term. Most Americans are very accepting of service dogs, and won’t give the officers any flack. If he needs to run in somewhere (even the bathroom!) his dog ought to be taught how to handle basic situations like that. If the dog isn’t, just train him for this little bit of extra that might save his life. My first thing I had to do as we drove home with Jet, was go to the bathroom. There was a woman in the handicap stall, and all the other stalls were open, but really small….um, what do you do with a big, fluffy, waggly tail?

Finally the woman came out, apologized for tying up the stall, and we were able to complete our mission. Eventually, with some practice, I discovered if I had Jet sit facing the commode, his long tail would a. curl around his feet, or b. go out under the door. It worked for us anyhow. (I think he wondered what was wrong with these poor humans that kept peeing in these water bowls, instead of going outside, like any other reasonable animal would!

 

 

http://www.kidsandcars.org/files/pdfupload/PR-09-23-11.pdf

http://www.cnn.com/2016/07/25/health/hot-car-deaths-explained/

http://www.peta.org/blog/emergency-call-to-police-protect-k9-officers-from-dying-in-hot-cars/

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K-9 Officer Zeke Left To Broil To Death In The Back of A Patrol Car 8-15-16. Seems The Parties At Fault Have Been Let Go

Zeke murdered by handler

Whomever the ‘handler’ was for K-9 officer Zeke, he should be dismissed at the very least. Prosecuted at the very most. Once again, a dog left to roast alive in the back of a patrol vehicle. An “investigation” is ongoing. It’s not in the record who was the person who left Zeke to roast in the back of a vehicle.

After all the articles, all the publicity about these horrendous deaths…they keep on. Many times in literature from the departments the dog is said to have “passed away suddenly” after getting overheated. That’s wordspeak for had a “ heart attack due to heat stroke.”

When asked Chief Watson would not answer the question if any charges will be brought up on the ‘handler’ that left Zeke to roast to death in the back of a squad car on August 15th. They are waiting on the results of an autopsy being done at Texas A&M. Those results ought to be back by now, ‘dontcha think? It’s August 22nd and still no report. Hard to believe.

As if things aren’t bad enough for this case. Zeke was purchased by the Ranger, Tx police department with the other half of Zeke’s purchase coming from private citizens. It doesn’t say how much was paid, but Zeke had only been with the department since earlier this year. It seems the that good people of Ranger, TX should be demanding what happened to their one dog K-9 unit.

     Once again, if you can’t take care of the dog…DON’T GET IT! This isn’t a game to see how many K-9 officers every department can get (and forget in the back of a patrol car and fry!)

       Finally this small police department did what so many larger ones refuse to do. They dismissed the officer that is responsible for Zeke’s death! (However they aren’t releasing his name!)

This is a police department that needs to garb up in a warm fur parka full down the legs, with a fur hat and fur mukluks on. Then they all need to sit in the back of their cruisers for three hours with the windows all rolled up, and no air conditioning or water. Perhaps they should do this quarterly. Perhaps then they will remember.

I doubt it. Anyone who works with a K-9 cop day in and day out, then leaves them in the back of the patrol car either is the most sociopathic individual I’ve ever heard of, or the most stupid. Probably a little of both.Zeke murdered and left in back of hot car 2 - Copy

Zeke was a three year old Dutch Shepard, that was medically retired by a previous department due to a finding of arthritis that likely would have progressed and made working impossible. The department instead put him back into service after purchasing Zeke for $3000.00 half the money was raised by the citizens. Zeke went to work in April.

Rest in peace, little brother Zeke. You did good in your time on earth, even if humans let you down, you never let them down.

God Bless the service dogs

Whomever the ‘handler’ was for K-9 officer Zeke, he has been dismissed . Prosecuted at the very most. Once again, a dog left to roast alive in the back of a patrol vehicle. An “investigation” is ongoing. It’s not in the record who was the person who left Zeke to roast in the back of a vehicle.

After all the articles, all the publicity about these horrendous deaths…they keep on. Many times in literature from the departments the dog is said to have “passed away suddenly” after getting overheated. That’s wordspeak for had a “ heart attack due to heat stroke.”

When asked Chief Watson would not answer the question if any charges will be brought up on the ‘handler’ that left Zeke to roast to death in the back of a squad car on August 15th. They are waiting on the results of an autopsy being done at Texas A&M. Those results ought to be back by now, ‘dontcha think? It’s August 22nd and still no report. Hard to believe.

As if things aren’t bad enough for this case. Zeke was purchased by the Ranger, Tx police department with the other half of Zeke’s purchase coming from private citizens. It doesn’t say how much was paid, but Zeke had only been with the department since earlier this year. It seems the that good people of Ranger, TX should be demanding what happened to their one dog K-9 unit.

Once again, if you can’t take care of the dog…DON’T GET IT! This isn’t a game to see how many K-9 officers every department can get (and forget in the back of a patrol car and fry!)

Finally this small police department did what so many larger ones refuse to do. They dismissed the officer that is responsible for Zeke’s death! (However they aren’t releasing his name!)

This is a police department that needs to garb up in a warm fur parka full down the legs, with a fur hat and fur mukluks on. Then they all need to sit in the back of their cruisers for three hours with the windows all rolled up, and no air conditioning or water. Perhaps they should do this quarterly. Perhaps then they will remember.

I doubt it. Anyone who works with a K-9 cop day in and day out, then leaves them in the back of the patrol car either is the most sociopathic individual I’ve ever heard of, or the most stupid. Probably a little of both.

Zeke was a three year old Dutch Shepard, that was medically retired by a previous department due to a finding of arthritis that likely would have progressed and made working impossible. The department instead put him back into service after purchasing Zeke for $3000.00 half the money was raised by the citizens. Zeke went to work in April.

Rest in peace, little brother Zeke. You did good in your time on earth, even if humans let you down, you never let them down.

God Bless the service dogs

here is the link to the Ranger, Texas Facebook page. I’m sure they would love to hear from the public about their ‘care’ of Zeke.

https://www.facebook.com/rangertxpolice/

 

http://www.ktxs.com/news/ranger-k9-officer-dies-after-being-found-unresponsive-in-patrol-car/50708714

 

Once Again A K-9 Officer, Used To Track In The Arizona Heat, Till His Valiant Heart Could Take No More, He Collapsed And Died. This HAS To Stop!

K-9 Amigo, a canine serving under the Kingman Police in Kingman, Arizona succumbed to heat-stroke injuries he incurred while tracking two hikers that were lost August 17, 2016.

Amigo was a gorgeous Belgian Malinois, only 3 ½ years of age. He collapsed while tracking  two hikers, which he found.

Anyone want to guess if he was given rest breaks? Water? Wore a cooling vest? Checked his gums for staying pink and moist? Checking to see if he was going into cardiovascular shock by noticing his gums turning white? Answers. Anybody? Anybody at all?

Why…. NO. NO. and NO again. They let Amigo die tracking. (Forgetting he’s not a machine, I suppose).

Anyone want to guess if any officers collapsed from thirst or heat stroke while tracking these hikers? Anybody? Anyone at all?

That’s Right!!! NO-ONE.

     If a police department cannot take better care of its canines, well, they should have them taken away. We have this shiny new law….just passed on August 2nd, to prosecute handlers that endanger and kill their partners by sheer lack of understanding. If the officers could keep themselves from dropping dead of heat stroke…well then they ought to have been able to keep Amigo alive.  This officer needs to be prosecuted under the new law. 10 years in jail. $1000 fine. (that’s too low).

Instead, the usual platitudes are being offered by the police department. Until the people all over this country stand up and say “ENOUGH” TAKE CARE OF YOUR K-9 OFFICERS!!!! NOTHING WILL BE DONE.

I’m just one person. This police department’s website is all platitudes, and how “upset” they are. If they truly were that upset, his handler would be reassigned, and the police officer in charge of the search demoted.

     Then they need to get any local veterinarian in, and give these guys a talk on what to look for in K-9 heat injury. It doesn’t mean it won’t happen. It just means they can catch their dog getting into trouble before it becomes a life-threatening spiral.

Over 300+ search and rescue K-9’s were involved in the 9-11 search. NOT ONE DOG DIED. That was 2001. Why is it in 2016 we can’t do at least as well?

K-9 Amigo (“friend”), died on August 17th, after suffering for several hours at the veterinarians office. This dog had only worked one year with the department before they killed him off by negligence. This is not a “mistake”. It’s not a ‘horrible’ “accident”. It was PREVENTABLE. IT WAS NEGLIGENCE.

I’m going to give you all the link to get to the Kingman Police Departments page. Remember: we have that Federal law in place now. Call for it to be enacted. There’s a huge loop in it those of you who are lawyers might try to close. It requires “malice and aforethought” it leaves out the biggie: NEGLIGENCE.

I sincerely doubt that K-9 Amigo’s ‘partner’ officer Adam Simonsen woke up on the 17th and decided he would abuse his dog till he dropped dead. Or all the other handlers this year who did the same thing. Or all the other people who locked their K-9 partners in the back of a hot police car to roast slowly to death in the most awful way imaginable. Negligence. Pure and simple, negligence.

Any K-9 officer should know how to take care of his partner. That means recognizing and attempting to PREVENT heat stroke! Use your head, man. It’s Arizona! Check your dog for overheating every fifteen minutes. Offer water. If he won’t drink, there are ways of getting fluids into him. Find out how. Before one more dog dies. Find out how. Have your tracking dogs wear a cooling vest they’re cheap. You can make them with cast-off pants and phase II cooling sheets available on Amazon. Have a veterinarian come in every four months, and give you a refresher on how to prevent heat stroke, keep paws from getting blistered in the heat…things you already should know, but apparently need a refresher on over and over and over again. Till it sticks in your brain, and you don’t kill your dog from negligence.

This is what the chief of police said on the website about how stricken the department was over the loss of K-9 Amigo. Somehow the words ring false, don’t they, when you know that this was all preventable?:

This is a very sad occasion. The bond between our handlers and their dogs is very strong and the officer is devastated by the loss. While they are working dogs, these animals also become a close and important part of the individual police officer’s family as well as the rest of the KPD family. Clearly, we have lost one of our own.” stated Robert J. DeVries, Chief of Police.” *courtesy review Journal, AZ.

Now, Mr. Robert J. DeVries…what are you going to DO about it? To prevent another preventable death? Why is it that you lost your beautiful, K-9 officer to negligence? Did the K-9 officers get any teaching on how to prevent heat stroke while in a tracking situation? Do you think perhaps having a veterinarian come and talk to your K-9 officers and teach them how not to kill their partners through negligence might have some benefit?

     The officer involved (officer Adam Simonsen) tracking with K-9 Amigo should be re-assigned, never to work in another K-9 unit. The officer in charge of the track, should be reprimanded for not having the tracking dog taken care of with breaks, water, hydration if he refused it, having someone check the dog for shock (check his gums, if they are white, his cardiac situation is grim, get him to the vet immediately). If the human officers didn’t all fall over from heat stroke, then apparently you have a problem of education in your ranks. This was preventable. PREVENTABLE.

You should be ashamed. Not just distraught. ASHAMED. This was a 3 ½ year old dog in his prime. I assume you all are cognizant that it’s HOT in Arizona. Dogs aren’t machines. You can’t work them as though they are. Did this dog have rest breaks? Water? Did anyone at all have a clue that he was getting into distress before he keeled over half-dead, to linger at a pet hospital?

The answer is NO.

And NO again.

You wonder why I’m so angry. This is why. IT”S PREVENTABLE. Your handler and other officers couldn’t take the time or effort to make sure Amigo tracked safely. I suppose like so many other things in our society…it’s no big deal. Kill one, just buy another, right?

I’ve spent this long hot summer listing each canine dying from negligence in their respective departments. The most egregious are the dogs locked in a hot car to suffer a death no sentient creature ought to endure. The second is a lack of education and common sense, to know when your dog is overheating, and STOP tracking before your dog collapses and dies!

Please, in K-9 Amigo’s honor, and all other THIRTEEN dogs that have died at the hands of their ‘partners’, this summer….The partner that was supposed to care for them….go to the Kingman Arizona Police Website, and let them know what you think. Insist that Amigo’s partner be kept from EVER being able to have a K-9 partner again. Insist that the officer in charge of the track is disciplined as well. If some legal-eagle out there can insist  the new Federal law be used to prosecute the parties involved, please do, and help save a life or many lives down the line.

https://www.facebook.com/CityofKingmanPolice/https://www.facebook.com/Police-K-9-Association-267504536621649/

 

The record states  that Amigo was doing well, then he suffered ” a sudden medical event” and died at the veterinarians. That “sudden medical event”? Likely, it was his brave, young, stoic heart breaking for the partner that didn’t take care of him. The partner he loved with every breath he had in him. His poor abused heart gave out. He was a 3 1/2 year old dog. He likely died of a heart attack brought on by heat-stroke…after no care on his blistering hike tracking the lost hikers cared enough to make sure he didn’t suffer from heat stroke.

Perhaps the entire Kingman Police force needs to retrace Amigo’s track. In fur coats down to their ankles. A heavy fur toboggan on  their heads, furry muckluks on their feet. They need to do it with no stop for rest. They need to keep going with no water to drink. Keep tracking with no-one to care enough to check and see if they were going into cardiac arrest. Maybe then they would understand the hell they put Amigo through.

God Bless you K-9 Amigo. You saved two lives. The hikers who were lost. while you gave up your young, brief life unselfishly, devotedly. As always. You are the shining star of what a fine police officer is. You performed your duties 110%. More than your frail body could endure.

God Bless The Service Dogs.

  • * K-9 Amigo photos courtesy Kingman Police Department website*

http://sacramento.cbslocal.com/2016/08/20/kingman-police-dog-that-searched-for-hikers-in-heat-dies/

http://www.reviewjournal.com/news/las-vegas/kingman-police-s-k9-amigo-dies-after-rescuing-hikers-arizonahttps://www.facebook.com/Police-K-9-Association-267504536621649/Reporting On

http://www.reviewjournal.com/news/las-vegas/kingman-police-s-k9-amigo-dies-after-rescuing-hikers-arizona

http://www.k9memorialcards.com/k9s/