For a K-9 and its handler, a routine day on the job can turn deadly without the proper equipment, especially in the summer. In the past, some canines have suffocated in police cars because of faulty air conditioners. That problem can be easily fixed, however, if the car has a device called a 'hot dogger.'
"If the air conditioning fails, a siren will go off, the window will go down, or the horn will honk to alert the officer that the dog is in trouble," said Debbie Sisk.
Sisk is organizing the "Paws... Enforcing Laws" benefit to be held Saturday, May 9. K-9 units from nine surrounding counties will gather at the benefit in Madison County. They're hoping to raise enough money to purchase things like hot doggers, bullet-proof vests, and bail-out systems.
With just a touch of a button, a bailout system allows the handler to release the dog from the car. For canine handlers like Andy Gluba, that remote can be the difference between life or death.
"You can be a fairly good distance away, even though another officer may be coming, there not going to get there nine times out of ten as quick as a dog can," said Albemarle County Officer Andy Gluba.
So far, the paws benefit has raised more than $5,000, but they're still hoping to raise $3,000 more. If you're interested in attending the event, it will be held on Saturday April 9 from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. in Madison County at the Blue Ridge Emporium. For more information, call (540) 948-2255.