Strays to the Rescue

Strays To the Rescue
Diana Walker

Sadie, the Arson Dog
"Sadie, a chocolate Labrador, was abandoned when she was pretty young. Her owners moved away and left her behind, tied to the barn door. She seemed to have potential as a working dog and ended up being trained for arson detection. Labs and Lab mixes are often used for arson detection because they tend to have good noses and they are friendly and enthusiastic about working for treats ... Sadie's job is to let me know if an accelerant like lighter fluid or gasoline was used to start a fire. She is trained to sit when she detects an accelerant, whether it is on a piece of charred wood or carpet or on the shoes or hands of an arson suspect ... Recently we were called to the site of a vehicle fire. Three handcuffed suspects were sitting on the curb. I walked Sadie around them to search for a scent of the gas found on the partially burned car seat. She sniffed the men's shoes, their pants and their hands. Then she stopped in front of one guy and sat down. He was questioned and later confessed to setting the fire. You can't lie to a dog when she sits down in front of you." — Fred Andes, fire captain, Phoenix Fire Department

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