State officials said, Cotton, a Labrador Retriever, died after a brief illness. He was 15 years old.
Cotton was born Feb. 9, 2001. He started his training as an arson detection dog in August 2003 at the Maine State Police Training Center.
Since September 2003, he had been working for the Georgia Insurance and Safety Fire Commissioner’s office. He was the sixth arson canine in the state to serve the law enforcement and fire service communities.
Cotton and his handler, Bruce Gourley, were involved in more than 3,000 fire investigations between September 2003 and January 2014. The Labrador’s specialized training in sniffing out petrochemical products allowed him to determine if accelerants were used to start a fire.
His awesome skills led to the arrest of 250 arson suspects.
In August 2013, Gourley and Cotton worked their last assignment on a business fire in Barrow County.
That fire was found to be intentionally set. The suspect pleaded guilty to arson and was sentenced to five years’ probation and fined $1,000.
Source: Atlanta Business Chronicle