911 Call to Arizona Law Enforcement: Prevent More Suffering, Deaths of K9 Officer in Hot Cars

PETA Asks Arizona Law Enforcement Canine Association to Endorse Installing Lifesaving Heat-Alert Systems in Patrol Cars

For Immediate Release:
June 19, 2015

Sophia Charchuk 202-483-7382


Last year, K9 officer Ike died after he was left inside a hot patrol car at Arizona State Prison Complex–Lewis. In the hope of preventing similar tragedies this summer, PETA sent a letter today to the Arizona Law Enforcement Canine Association with urgent information about the benefits of installing innovative heat-alert systems—which are already used by some Phoenix law-enforcement agencies—in patrol cars for when temperatures inside the vehicles climb. When activated, these systems sound an alarm, page an officer, attempt to start the car’s engine, and automatically roll down a window (video available here).

“No K9 officer should experience an agonizing death locked inside a hot car, and a heat-alert system is an easy way to prevent this,” says PETA Senior Vice President Daphna Nachminovitch. “PETA hopes police and K9 agencies everywhere will join us in promoting the protection of these brave and loyal dogs by endorsing the installation of these lifesaving systems in every single K9 patrol car.”

“Police service dogs are part of the law-enforcement family, and their deaths have a devastating impact on human officers as well as the community at large,”says Sgt. Rich Maiocco of the Phoenix Police Department. “These alarm systems are an invaluable and often lifesaving tool that can help keep our dogs safe by our side.”

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way”—has also designed posters for K9 units to display in their offices to remind human officers that on a 78-degree day, the temperature inside a parked car can soar to between 100 and 120 degrees in just minutes and on a 90-degree day, the interior temperature can reach as high as 160 degrees in less than 10 minutes. These temperatures can be especially deadly for dogs, who can only cool themselves by panting and sweating through their footpads.

In addition to Phoenix, heat-alert systems are also already in place in agencies across the country, including in Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and Chesapeake, Virginia.

PETA’s letter is available upon request. For more information, please visit PETA.org.


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