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Too cool to drool
Deputized bloodhounds outfitted with special vests
Cool Puppy Dogs 2 es WEB
PHOTO/EMILY SAUNDERS Becky Wiley, with Animal Medical Center speaks to Bogie after giving him a treat. Officer Josh Watson holds Bogies leash. Bogie and another police dog Sheba were given cool vests from the Animal Medical Center Thursday afternoon.
Thanks to a donation from a local veterinary clinic, Sheba and Bogie will keep it chill while they work this summer
Sheba, 2, and Bogie, 2 and a half, are "deputies" in the Forsyth County Sheriff's Office's K-9 Unit.
The bloodhounds are used to track missing people and suspects.
The Animal Medical Center of Cumming presented the unit Thursday with two canine cooling vests, designed to keep dogs' body temperatures at safe levels while working in intense heat.
"We were looking for a way that we could give something back to the community that has supported us for the last 13 years," veterinarian Mike McLaughlin said.
"This was a need and we just hope that Sheba and Bogie enjoy their new vests and can stay cool."
McLaughlin explained that bloodhounds begin to pant when they get too hot, which impedes their ability to smell.
McLaughlin said they are also susceptible to heat stroke because they will track for such long hours if necessary.
"They'll harm themselves rather than stop tracking," he said.
The lightweight vests carry packs of frozen liquid in pockets that rest against a dog's underside. The vests are also adjustable for a dog's size and growth.
Forsyth County Sheriff Ted Paxton said the bloodhounds are "scent distinct."
"They hone in on one scene and track that scent," he said. "You introduce them to something with the scent on it and they're off and on the run."
Sheriff's Lt. Jody Chapman said Bogie lives with his partner, Deputy Josh Watson, and Sheba lives with her partner, Deputy Kevin Mitchell.
He said the deputies are assigned to the sheriff's uniform patrol division, but are responsible for being on call with the bloodhounds.
"The dogs stay at home or at the precinct and when they're needed, (Watson and Mitchell) pick the dogs up and respond," he said.
Chapman said while the bloodhounds are used for tracking, other dogs, like the unit's German shepherds, are used for apprehension.