From Homeless to Homeland Security

Jeremiah and Norton made their way to HHDR in late January 2018. Back in Alabama, their future in the overcrowded shelter system seemed bleak. Fortunately, they were rescued by our partners Save A Stray and given a one-way ticket to Central New York for second chance!

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In February, Jeremiah and Norton’s potential to make a difference in the world was recognized – they were wanted by the Office of Fire Prevention and Control. HHDR was honored to donate these two dogs to the New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services. Now we are so proud to share a special pupdate about these amazing boys!

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Both dogs were paired up with a handler for 8 weeks of rigorous training (over 300 hours!) at the New York State Academy of Fire Science. The dog-handler teams learned search techniques and how to detect ignitable liquids commonly used in arson. The handlers learned about canine health and behavior, while the dogs were exposed to boats, helicopters, and other unique environmental settings they will face in their new jobs.

Both dogs and their handlers graduated from the academy on May 4, receiving their Canine Accelerant Detection Certification. They are truly VIPs – Very Important Pups – as they were congratulated by the Governor of New York! They have very serious jobs to do, including helping law enforcement and fire investigators solve arson cases. Read more about the dogs’ extensive training and important work here.