CLARKSTOWN, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — A Rockland County police department has received a generous gift that will help save the lives of their police dogs.

In the summer, a car can become an oven and Clarkstown Police Officer Mike Keen worries about an engine stalling or air conditioning going out while his K-9 partner Taz is alone in the back.

“You always wonder in the back of your mind, ‘What’s going on with your partner, what’s going on in the vehicle,” Keen said.

Now, the department has equipped its vehicles with the Ace Watch Dog System.

Sensors monitor the temperature inside the vehicle and then a smartphone app will alert handlers if it gets too hot while they’re away from the car.

“This new system will send out a text message when it reaches a certain threshold. Once it goes to full alarm mode it will call two handler contacts and four additional contacts,” said Officer Robert Reilly. “While that’s occurring, the car will take steps to cool itself off. The fans will kick on, the windows will go down, and the horn will honk.”

The warning system is a gift from Perry and Helene Kotzker from Nanuet.

“If it saves one dog and helps a policeman not have to lose a dog, that’s wonderful,” Helene Kotzker said.

It’s a thank you to Animal Control Officer Pat Coleman who was kind to the Kotzkers when dogs killed their Maltese, Chip, five years ago.

“She helped us legally, she helped us emotionally and we wanted to give something back,” Kotzker said.

According to PETA, at least a dozen police dogs around the country have died while stuck in police cars where the air conditioning has failed.

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