Tucker, a Labrador mix rescue dog, is “paying it forward” by helping law enforcement at the Texas explosion site. The Lab was rescused as a puppy from the Yolo County Animal Shelter.
Tucker is helping to search for live people buried in the West, Texas rubble: the site of the fertilizer plant explosion that killed at least 12 people, and injured hundreds.
The explosion happened on Wednesday night.
The Lab mix, who is now four, was discovered at at five months old by the National Disaster Search Dog Foundation in 2009.
“It’s awesome that a five-month-old lab mix is saved from the shelter and goes through training and is able to help with the rescue efforts in Texas,” said Yolo County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Mark Persons. “It’s rewarding.”
Tucker and his partner Keri Grant, a firefighter-paramedic with the McKinney, Texas, Fire Department, are working the scene.
Off duty, the Lab Tucker lives with Grant, her husband, Stuart, son, Sammy, and two Weimaraners, Duke and Missy Anne.
Tucker started his formal training at 7-months-old with the nonprofit National Disaster Search Dog Foundation in Gilroy. The Foundation, based in Ojai, pairs rescued dogs with firefighters to find people buried in disaster wreckage, according to the Foundation’s website. The dogs are provided at no cost to fire departments and other first responders.
“It’s great that these animals have that opportunity,” said Persons. “I’m glad that that particular animal got the chance, and that animal made the most of his opportunity and was able to contribute to the well being of people.”
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