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judges 2011


Entry Category Arson Dogs
Charity Partner Project Paws Alive
Location Knoxville, Tennessee


A hero is defined as a character who takes action on behalf of others in need or in defense of a moral cause. Arson K9 Bailey is such a character. We have been together since May 2009, investigating fires for the Knoxville Fire Department. In 2010, K9 Bailey and I were called to investigate a house fire. Bailey immediately found two hot spots and remnants of several Molotov cocktails. When we were done investigating the scene, Bailey started pulling on her lead and ran away from me. I panicked, ran after her, and found her sitting in high weeds pointing her nose to the ground. As I walk toward her upset and ready to scold her, I saw that she was alerting to an unexploded Molotov. My “hero” knew that there was still danger in the area and her job was not done. She followed the scent across the street, into a bar, and located the arsonist. He still had the scent of accelerant on his clothes. What truly amazes me about Bailey is the bond that she has forged with my special needs son, Landon. She is always at his side, watching his every move. If Landon coughs during the night, she won’t rest until someone has checked on him. It is only then that she lets out a “sigh”, her verbalization of “I got this.” She never tires of his presence. Bailey is a hero to Landon, to me, and to the people of Knoxville.

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