By: Emma Wheeler | WCTV Eyewitness News
May 30, 2019
VALDOSTA, Ga. (WCTV) -- Working in the South Georgia heat can be hard enough, but doing so with a big fur coat can make it even harder.
Luckily, police dogs in Valdosta are getting a little help handling the heat.
On Friday, the Lutheran Women's Missionary League donated eight cooling vests for the Valdosta Police Department's K9 Unit.
The vests help prevent heat stroke and heat exhaustion while the dogs are working. Officers can put the vests on the dogs and soak them in water. The vests help evaporate their body heat quicker than panting.
The department said in the south, heat stroke is far too common in working dogs, and the vests can help keep them safe.
"It's just another level of prevention to help them not get that heat stroke," said Sergeant Alan Girsch with the Valdosta Police Department.
"Working dogs love to work, and they will work until they die," said LWML President Norene Olsen. "That's the problem, and that's why this is going to keep them alive a lot longer."
This is the first time the entire Valdosta Police Department K9 Unit has cooling vests.