Why is a dog with no SAR training/certification in a rescue vest?
(my comments below in bold)
Eleven-year-old Bear was a golden retriever trained in search and rescue [He had no SAR training]. He and his owner, Capt. Scott Shields [Not a captain, just called that due to having a boat in Connecticut.], were among the first responders to the World Trade Center during the 9/11 attacks. Bear is credited with the only live finds by a canine [Wake up folks. Remember back now. There were absolutely NO live finds by a dog. Period.] and with probably making the most correct finds of victims [Impossible as he was escorted off the site the 2nd day he was there due to being untrained] …
Before Bear died, he had another big job [impossible task since Bear died in 2002]. He assisted in searching for victims of Hurricane Katrina. “When I called (Louisiana) Governor Kathleen Blanco, she said she couldn’t authorize my offer to bring search teams,” said Shields. “I asked her if she knew of Bear at the Twin Towers and she cried. She said, ‘I know who you are. How many teams can you bring?’ The 82nd airborne rescue boats there were fondly called Bear’s navy.” [There is nothing fond about memories of Scott’s actions at Katrina when you speak to the military folks who were actually involved in the work there.]
Shields attended the Greenland school ceremony Friday with Bear’s son Theo. When Shields hid a rolled cloth scented as a person who had been hurt, Theo quickly found it in the waste basket Shields had thrown it in.
“He is trained to find firefighters first,” Shields told students. … Theo proved his dedication to firefighters when he came across a bag of firefighter gear on the floor. He not only took it, but at first stubbornly refused to let it go. “He knows his job,” said Shields. [There is no such thing as being trained to find firefighters first. And, grabbing articles and refusing to release them is not the sign of a trained dog, let alone a Search & Rescue dog.]
There are so many lies and distortions in this letter I do not know where to begin. Much of the true facts that show this article to be false can be found in my article: TRADING IN ON TRAGEDY FOR FAME: Succumbing to the Lure of Truthiness
I just wrote a letter to the reporter of this quite distressing article. Whenever these hideous apparitions appear, I feel we must correct the record. Read my article and read the above article as well. And, then make up your own minds. If you agree that something needs to be done, here is the applicable contact information.
1. Post your comments directly at the page with the article
2. Ms. Dandurant (reporter): firstname.lastname@example.org
3. John Tabor (publisher): email@example.com
4. Howard Altschiller (Executive Editor): firstname.lastname@example.org
5. General paper email: email@example.com
Here is my own letter to the reporter of the article:
Dear Ms. Dandurant,
It was quite distressing to see your recent article given the disputed authenticity of Mr. Shields and his purported SAR dog.
Please feel free to contact Nancy West (Co-author of Bear book) regarding Mr. Shields and his endless fabrications and fraud. You will notice that her site at Off Lead Publications does not even include the book she wrote with Mr. Shields as part of the now defunct Hero Dog Publications. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org .
She was forced to sever their relationship, and she detailed the following at Amazon
AUTHOR’S COMMENTS – NANCY WEST, February 12, 2006
There have been many erroneous facts, as well as misleading information presented in news and television articles about Scott Shields and his dogs Bear and Theodore. I hope the following helps both readers and the media who may be interested in gaining greater knowledge of the facts of this story:
1.) Scott Shields did NOT “command” search and rescue teams at the WTC. As discussed in the book, Scott was asked to escort a team from Massachusetts onto the pile during the evening of 9/11. Scott responded to 911 as an independent citizen volunteer. Like other citizen volunteers, Scott and Bear were requested to leave the search efforts after several days.
2.)Scott refers to himself as ‘Captain’ because that is what others called him for many years on the waterfront in New York and Connecticut. This does NOT refer to any military, maritime, or authoritative rank.
3.) Scott has some emergency management training, but he and Bear did NOT have “official” or “professional” search and rescue (SAR) training.
4.) Bear did NOT accompany Scott to the WTC to do search work. He was there because he was always at Scott’s side.
5.) Bear has NOT been credited with making any live finds at the WTC.
6.) Bear has NOT been credited with finding more victims than any other rescuer or canine. The number of victims Bear found has NEVER been established. Many highly trained,official search and rescue canine teams stayed and worked for weeks after Scott and Bear left. Presumably, these teams made many sad discoveries.
7.) Scott and Bear did NOT respond to the Oklahoma City bombing rescue and recovery mission.
8.) Scott and Bear did NOT respond to the earthquake in Turkey.
9.) Theodorable is NOT Bear’s son. Theodore was purchased by two of Scott’s close friends from a kennel near Princeton, NJ during the autumn of 2002. Theo was approximately six months old when he was adopted. At this time, Theodore is NOT a trained search and rescue dog.
10.)Theodore has been made an honorary ‘mascot’ in the Coast Guard Auxiliary. He is NOT a Coast Guard SAR canine.
Be sure to contact Lt. Dan Donadio ( email@example.com ), a real hero who ran the NYPD K9 unit and was at Ground Zero for nine months. Lt Donadio actually removed Mr. Shields from the site the second day he was there, even though he felt sorry for the ‘old man and his old dog’. Again, you can read his actual comments from my article .
I have to be honest with you, Ms. Dandurant, it is articles like yours that result in a tremendous amount of work for me. Because then, I must spend my valuable time again disputing the poor researching and the blatant lies. I have to work through the article and detail to folks each line that is untrue and provide the accurate information. I have to take the time to contact the editor of your newspaper, invoking others to do so as well.
I have immense respect for the hard-working SAR teams and across the country they are engaged in selfless jobs. We rely on their expertise and their assistance at those times of crisis when we are at our most vulnerable. The trust we place in those authentic workers is so very diminished by the actions of SAR wannabe, self-glorifying folks such as Mr. Shields.
I am hoping that either your article can be removed or that a major retraction can be provided. Please feel free to contact me. But, please do not do so before completing some further research, reading the articles that I have detailed above, and contacting key persons such as Nancy West, Lt. Dan Donadio, and Philip Recchia.