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judges 2011


Entry Category Arson Dogs
Charity Partner Project Paws Alive
Location Bristol, Indiana


Amber is a 16 year old, yellow lab mix that was rescued from an animal shelter in Florida. She became a certified arson dog in April 2001 when she was partnered with me at the Elkhart Fire Department in Indiana. Amber was extremely hyper and misunderstood which is why she was placed in the shelter. All she really needed was a job, a way to direct her energy. After Amber was rescued, she was sent to school in Maine where she became a certified Arson K-9. Amber assisted with numerous fire investigations in her home town of Elkhart but also serviced surrounding communities and agencies such as the Indiana State Police, Michigan State Police, and fire departments throughout southern Michigan. Amber weighed approximately 35 pounds so everyone thought she was a puppy. Her size and playful personality was instrumental while working an arson scene. Two arson suspects thought she was a neighborhood pup and decided to play with her during a fire investigation. Little did the suspects know Amber was not playing at all; she was all business and alerted to potential evidence on their clothing. Amber was instrumental in public relation events and teaching fire prevention/safety prevention to kids. She inspired our department to start a county fire prevention open house called “Amber’s Open House” during fire prevention month. Amber retired in late 2007 but still helps Nicole train future arson dogs. Amber dedicated her entire life to helping others which makes her a Hero Dog.

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