Photo: Mark W. Clark
A new program being used by the Arizona Department of Public Safety allows K-9 handlers to monitor their dogs' temperature and location with the help of an Android app.
According to the Arizona Republic, the technology involves a device implanted in the dog's neck with a sensor to monitor body temperature and a GPS component to aid in location. Once the dog's temperature approaches critical condition, the handler is notified by e-mail or text message. A Virtual Armor app also lets the handler track the dog's temperature in real time.
Officials say the technology could also be used to avoid potentially fatal scenarios, like when a police dog is inadvertently left behind in a patrol car in the Arizona heat.
DPS implemented the yearlong pilot program in January using technology firm Virtual Armor and three of the department's police dogs: Clif, GoGo, and Nico.
The Arizona Department of Public Safety is one of the first agencies nationwide to try out the technology, according to Scott Schulze, senior program and engineering manager for Virtual Armor.