K-9 officers deal with Valley's triple-digit heat
Fri, 12 Aug 2011 00:02:47 GMT —
With just one command Levi is ready to go. He puts his nose to the ground and pulls on his leash--all in an effort to locate drugs hidden somewhere on the property.
"When we need him he is out there ready to go," San Juan Police Officer Jorge Moya said.
But as the temperatures rise so does the risk of Levi becoming dehydrated or worse.
Levi is a K-9 officer with the San Juan Police Department and is a very driven dog.
Moya, his handler, told Action 4 News once Levi has a scent that is it---he is not going to stop until his target is in reach.
"We have to protect him more--especially here with the heat---it wears him down more," Moya said.
While water and rest are important to Levi's safety, Moya said it is knowing when the K-9 has had enough that will save his partner's life.
"When he's tired he's not doing his work and he's not paying attention," Moya said. "That's when you have to give him a break and put him in the vehicle."
Moya said he and Levi do not just patrol San Juan--they travel all of the Valley and assist other agencies in drug cases.
He said, as the mercury rises, he has to take into account that Levi might not be able to handle the heat---and sometimes they have to stay behind.
"If we get a call we see if it is safe enough for him---we see if he is rested and if it is hot enough for him."
As Levi get's ready for another day on the job---Moya makes sure he is prepared with a 2-gallon jug of water filled to the top--ready for when Levi needs it.