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judges 2011


Entry Category Arson Dogs
Charity Partner Project Paws Alive
Location Belding, Michigan


Ritzey is a 2 ½ year old Goldadore with the Kent County Sheriff’s Department in Michigan. She was initially raised for disability assistance through Paws with a Cause but came to the fire service because she was too energetic. Ritzey will gladly go out in the sweltering heat and humidity of summer or into the cold and snow of winter to investigate a fire. Just a few months after Ritzey returned to Michigan after her training, we were called to a fire at a commercial building. The building had burned 22 years prior but investigators were called back to a fire at the same building. The community had grown concerned that a serial arsonist was responsible because of several other fires in the community, including a historic wooden bridge. On a hot summer day, Ritzey worked the fire scene with determination. She located two plastic gas cans under several feet of debris that the business owners had stated would be in the building. She found no other accelerants and thanks to her hard work, investigators determined the fire was not arson, calming fears of community residents. At work, she knows the difference between working hard to find the source of a fire and when it’s time to be a liaison for the Sheriff’s Department in the community. She loves any and all attention from the public, especially children. At home she is loves to lay with her head my feet and is always looking to please her family.

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