Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Welcome Ivan and Scout!!

WOOF!!!!  Barkingly, around mid August of this year, Ivan, a 2-year-old Belgian Malinois, began his first shift with the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department.  Scout, a Black Labrador Retreiver joined him soon after.

I've been pawing the internet trying to find photos of both guys, I wasn't successful- either way, since I'm remiss in my welcoming them to the neighborhood-

Welcome Ivan and Scout!

Credit: Shamus Ian Fatzinger/ Fairfax County Times
Virginia Task Force 1 team members Lt. Kristi Bartlett and Ivan.

Ivan and Scout were trained by the National Search Dog Foundation in Ojai, California, for nearly a year before they were partnered with two local firefighters. The foundation has rescued hundreds of dogs, many on the brink of euthanasia, and turned them into highly skilled rescuers.  Most of the dogs rescued are strong dominant type that are not suitable for family pets.

Though it costs the organization nearly $20,000 to recruit, care for and train each dog, partner it with a firefighter-handler, and provide ongoing training to the team. These guys joined the Fairfax Search and Rescue at no cost to the fire department.They are funded only by private donations and grants.

Since Ivan's handler is part of the VATF1, Virginia Task Force 1, he will join the team after he finishes training with FEMA, Federal Emergency Management Agency. Once certified, his primary responsibility will be to seek out people buried beneath rubble by way of smell.

WOOF!!! Paws to You two!!!  Will be pawing for you in the news!


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