Being in a car most of his day, how does our K9 officer Niko stay cool and comfortable?
Niko, a seven-year-old Belgian Malinois, has plenty of equipment in his patrol car to keep him cool. His kennel — which takes up half of the back seat of the Chevrolet Tahoe — is equipped with a Hot-N-Pop system. This means when the temperature in the vehicle reaches 90 degrees (measured with two thermostats), an alarm sounds triggering the horn of the vehicle, the back windows roll down, a fan begins blowing on Niko, and his handler, Interim Chief Lance Wipf, is notified to come check on him.
“By no means when that goes off, does it mean he’s in any type of distress at all,” Wipf said. “That’s why it’s set at 90 degrees rather than 95 so that way, it goes off before it gets to where he would be affected.”
Another way Niko is kept cool is an apparatus connected to the car’s air conditioning unit. This blows the A/C directly into Niko’s kennel at all times.
The Tahoe also has tinted windows to reduce sunlight into the vehicle.
“He loves cold weather. This weather we’re having now where it’s 30 degrees in the morning, he loves it. He’s in heaven when it’s chilly.”
When he’s not in the vehicle, Niko frequently enjoys breaks to play ball and has a kennel inside the Spring Hill Police Department and a large run at home.