Fresno County Sheriff's K-9 death prompts questions

FRESNO, Calif.

The story of Bohden's death prompted a lot of questions and comments on the ABC30 Facebook page. In fact, it's one of the most viewed and most commented stories this year. One common question: what could have been done to prevent this tragedy?

The tragic death of /*Bohden*/ has sparked many questions about what precautions are in place around the Valley to protect these dogs from high temperatures.

The /*Fresno Police Department*/ gave us a closer look at a system they use, it is similar to the system the /*Fresno County Sheriff*/ says failed.

Every summer morning when Fresno Police Canine Officer Ray Sellick logs on for work, he goes through the same routine.

"The way it works, when you start your shift, the hot dog is in the middle here and when it's off there's no light, you switch it forward, a red light goes on indicating it's on."

The "Hot Dog" is the name of the system in Sellick's K-9 car designed to protect his dog named "Q" when has to leave him alone inside the patrol car. Sellick also wears a pager on his belt that's part of the alert system.

"If the car were to malfunction and died for whatever mechanical reason, when it's gets too warm in there, the windows will go down and the fan will go on and the pager will go off indicating to me that there's a problem."

Officers routinely leave their K-9 partners in the patrol car with the air running. Fresno Police policy also requires officers to check on the dog every half hour.

During the summer months where temperatures can rise quickly, Sellick says you can never be too safe when it comes to protecting your dog.

The alert system is activated once the temperature inside the car reaches 89 degrees. But, just as another safety step, Sellick also leaves his back windows rolled down several inches while he's away.

"Especially being on days, everybody's worried about overheating."

While it's uncommon, this is at least the fourth K-9 nationwide to die this year from heat exhaustion.

The Fresno County Sheriff Office says the investigation into the dog's death is continuing.

Copyright © 2021 KFSN-TV. All Rights Reserved.