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Canine Rescuers Showing Off Life-Saving Skills

By: Lily Wu - Email
By: Lily Wu - Email

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Friday, June 10, 2011

Hula was once an abandoned dog. Now, she is partnered up with a Dallas firefighter on the same mission to save lives.

"It's a partnership. She has to get to know me and my voice and my rhythms. I get to know her as well. It's trust. Now, we're a team, so it's great," said Lt. Patti Krafft of the Dallas Fire-Rescue.

Hula is one of five canines that the National Court Reporters Association is helping train through a service memorial project to honor Julie Brandau, who was killed on the job as an Atlanta court reporter in 2001.

On Friday, Hula showed off her agility skills at the annual convention of the Kansas Court Reporters Association.

"Heat, humidity, the temperature, what they're going to be searching on, makes a big difference. We try to train to all those elements so that we're ready to go no matter what," said Krafft.

For canines like 5-year-old Elvis, the obstacle course is another game. In this game, Elvis gets his favorite toy once he's found a live victim. He used these same skills in a search-and-rescue last month in Oklahoma, after a tornado hit the town of Washington.

"It's a game and they love playing. Whether it's the real thing that they're deployed on or just training, it's all the same to them 'cause in the end, it's all about the toy," said Lt. Chet Clark of the Oklahoma City Fire Department.

The Search Dog Foundation saved these high energy dogs and in turn, they're helping save others.

"These are the dogs that no one else can handle. That's why we find them at the pounds," said Clark.

You can learn more about the Search Dog Foundation by clicking here.


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