Police Dog Overcome By Heat While Sitting In Squad Car

Chula Vista Police Dog Troy Had Just Gone Through Training Exercises In Oceanside

A Chula Vista police dog suffered heat-related injuries while sitting inside a squad car after going through some training exercises.

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Troy, a four-year-old Belgian Malinois, is physically fine after being hospitalized on May 11 in Oceanside.

The dog was in Oceanside for training and was put in a police vehicle while officers trained with other canines. Police said the squad car was air-conditioned, but it may not have been running cool enough for Troy.

"The handler put his dog back in the car and within a few short minutes noticed that the dog was had appeared to be ill," Chula Vista police Capt. Gary Wedge told 10News.

The dog had a temperature of 107.5 degrees when brought to the hospital. A dog's normal temperature is between 101 and 102.5 degrees, according to the American Kennel Club.

Troy was treated with an IV and fluids, kept overnight and then released the next morning.

Wedge told 10News Troy has had problems cooling off in the past. He said Troy was in the patrol car for less than five minutes.

Chula Vista police said they have three lines of defense in order to keep police dogs comfortable -- dark-tinted windows, air-conditioning vents that pump air to the backseat at all times, and if those fail, an alarm system.

In the case with Troy, the alarm system didn't go off because the patrol car never reached the alarm-activating temperature.

"We go out of our way to ensure that the dogs are well cared for," said Wedge. "If there was any indication whatsoever that Troy or any other police K-9 wasn't being well cared for, the officer wouldn't be in the program."

The Chula Vista Police Department added that this is not a case of neglect and the dogs are a part of their police family.

However, the department is reviewing procedures to ensure best practices are in place.

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