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judges 2011


Russ and Star.jpg
Entry Category Arson Dogs
Charity Partner Project Paws Alive
Location Salt Lake City, Utah


K-9 Star was the first accelerant detection canine to be employed by the Salt Lake City Fire Department. Star and I began our training in July 2001 and our tour of duty began on September 11, 2001 when a fire that Star and I investigated was selected by the United States Attorney General. It was the first arson fire to be prosecuted under the post 9/11 Federal Hate Crime Enhancement. Since then, K-9 Star has been a valued member of the Salt Lake City Fire Department, serving with distinction while investigating fires for Police and Fire Departments in Utah and Idaho. K-9 Star served her final year with the department in 2013 and entered retirement at the ripe age of 12. I am still impressed with her ability to complete any task she was asked to perform, all the while trusting me to keep her safe, especially given her significant hearing loss. She has always shown a willingness to perform safety demonstrations at community events, school assemblies and the impromptu visits to the fire stations. These demonstrations were always done with a wagging tail and what could be described as a smile on her face. Star’s work ethic resulted in several awards including a Salt Lake City Fire Department Honorable Service Commendation in September 2005 and the Distinguished Service Medal in November 2011.Thank you Star for being my partner and companion. You have given me the most memorable twelve years of my career.

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