Sensors, wireless tech protect police dogs from heat stroke

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Law enforcement units will begin to use wireless technology to monitor the internal body temperature of K9s to protect them from heat-related conditions.

Police and military dogs face many of the same dangers as their human partners. Many of these dogs, also known as K9s, fall victim to heat related conditions such as heat stroke, which could result in death.

To combat K9 casualties, Massachusetts, Arizona and Texas law enforcement units have invested in a wireless monitoring system to convey the dog’s internal body temperature to its human partner. Data Sciences International and Blueforce Development Corp. have partnered to develop the new system.

The system continuously measures the K9’s body temperature using a small surgically implanted sensor. The sensor then relays the temperature to a receiver attached to the dog’s protective gear, where it can be monitored by the human partners. The receiver relays the information to the K9 officer's smartphone and will instantly alert him if the K9's body temperature exceeds safe health limits.

"Our active involvement in public safety revealed that officers have serious K9 safety needs," said Blueforce CEO Mike Helfrich. "We expect this solution to help save K9 lives by communicating real-time temperature."

The telemetry is communicated to anyone subscribed to the animal through the Blueforce Tactical mobile application for Android or iOS, according to Blueforce blog post. Those who are subscribed receive a notification when the dog’s body temperature exceeds or falls below prescribed values.

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