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judges 2011


Entry Category Arson Dogs
Charity Partner Project Paws Alive
Location Dover, Delaware


K-9 Sparks is a 10 year old lab investigating suspicious fires since May 2008 for the Delaware State Fire Marshal. In August 2012, I thought that her career was over. Our vehicle was struck on the driver’s side by a car running a red light, flipping us 3-4 times and trapping us in the truck. The only thing I could think about was whether or not Sparks was hurt. I called out to her and she jumped up from the back seat. I told officers to get her out of the truck before they started cutting us from the wreckage. She was rushed to a vet with a cut under her chin, bumps, and bruises. Sparks was back to work within a week while I was out for 4 months. What surprised me was how eager she was to get back to work and get into a car with my assistant handler after the accident. She loves her job! Sparks and I also go to schools to conduct demonstrations and we partner with high schools that teach forensic science where the students learn about fire investigation with the help of Sparks. At home you will find her at our feet or on the couch sprawled out snoring. During training class, she stole the sheets off my bed more than once. Sparks is retiring from work this year but she will always be a hero to me and the people of Delaware.

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