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Second-Hand Animals: First Class Heroes

Imagine all the wonderful pups in cages within dark, damp shelters just waiting for somebody to rescue them. Every dog has important skills and a purpose in life. Our furry friends just need some guidance to identify those skills and make a difference.

Arson Dog with handler fire in backgroundThe American Humane Association recognizes the importance of animals and and created the Hero Dog Awards to celebrate canine heroes in various categories:

  • Law Enforcement
  • Arson
  • Service
  • Therapy
  • Military
  • Search and Rescue
  • Guide and Hearing
  • Emerging Hero dogs

The event also promotes rescue dogs and the power of adoption. Several of the past hero dog winners have come from animal shelters or puppy mills yet their suffering has resulted in remarkable stories of perseverance and heroism.

The Arson Dog category, sponsored by State Farm, supports these celebrity animals. It also shares how arson dogs impact our customers and business.

Road to the Red Carpet

Rescued from an Illinois animal shelter in 2010, K9 Kai exhibited a strong drive to locate and recover tennis balls. That work ethic was a perfect fit for the State Farm Arson Dog Program. In 2014, K9 Kai and handler Justin Davis with the San Antonio Fire Department in Texas won the Hero Dog Award in the Arson Dog category due to Kai's nose and strong work drive. Video Tribute: 2014 American Humane Association Hero Dog Awards™ Arson Dog Category - Kai

Arson dog GloryGlory, an arson dog with the Beloit Fire Department in Wisconsin, originally trained as a disability assistance canine but her high energy wasn't a fit for that program. All she needed was a career change to leverage her skill set.

Together with her handler Lt. Keith Lynn, K9 Glory uses her sense of smell to locate accelerants such as gasoline or diesel fuel that may have been used to start an arson fire. The assistance she provides to investigators increases the likelihood that if a fire was started intentionally, evidence will be located quickly and the arsonist will be charged with a crime.

Glory and her handler also visit schools and organizations to discuss fire safety, fire prevention and arson awareness. This education helps combat the growing problem of intentionally set fires. The team also emphasizes the importance of creating and practicing a fire escape plan.

Glory received the 2015 Hero Dog Award in the Arson Dog category because of her fantastic crime-fighting skills. This award brings awareness to a larger audience and gave Glory and Keith the opportunity to direct a grant to Project Paws Alive, a nonprofit organization that provides safety equipment to protect hero dogs like Glory.

More Tails Wagging Arson Dog Glory in working uniform

Expect more great stories of triumph when the Hero Dog Awards airs on the Hallmark Channel on October 30th at 8 pm ET/PT and 7 pm CT. Don't forget your tissues! These dogs will tug at your heart strings and appreciate even more the incredible bond between human and animals.

To read more about State Farm and our support of all dogs please read,


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