Golden Retriever Police dog Robin needs help in cancer fight

Golden Retriever Robin got some great TV coverage today. If you want to help, just go to .

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Another punishing blow…

I am back here talking about Golden Retriever Robin, Police K-9 detection & SAR dog (aka Ch. Nitro’s Boy Wonder). I have posted here, here, here, and here about this very special guy, who has an aggressive form of cancer and is now fighting for his life.

Mary’s latest news is not good, Robin’s cancer having metastasized to the right mandibular lymph node:

I have heard that grief has several stages, one of which is denial. I find myself repeating that while the statistics are grim, Robin is no ordinary dog. He does not know that this will be the fight of his life, and it will be a prohibitively expensive process. Somehow in my struggle, I find myself taking momentary comfort in believing that somehow, this whole thing will be a big error and that Robin isn’t really sick. But, as soon as I sell out and feel that few seconds of comfort, reality comes back and drives a blade between my ribs and reminds me that Robin is in the cross-hairs.

Right now Robin and I are involved in a battle for his life, even though he is not yet showing signs of his illness. Robin’s type of cancer can have a variable prognosis, and Cornell has informed me that the initial treatment for his lymph node removal and radiation will cost somewhere in the vicinity of $8,500 to $10,000. If subsequent treatment is required, the costs will escalate from there. We are desperately trying to raise enough money to save him, and we need your help. Whether it be fundraising ideas, or personal donations, every little bit will help.

Please get over to to learn more and help in this fight.

Here’s Golden Robin (BISS Am-Can Ch. Nitro’s Boy Wonder OS SDHF CGC TDI) and breeder/owner/handler Mary MacQueen receiving their AKC ACE award in the law enforcement division at the 2009 AKC/Eukanuba Invitational in Long Beach California.

And, here’s Robin doing his thing (drug detection).

He does it all … Update on Police K9/SAR Dog Robin

Golden Retriever Robin leading the parade

ROBIN IS THE FIRST GOLDEN RETRIEVER IN HISTORY to win the American Kennel Club Humane Fund Award for Canine Excellence (ACE) in Law Enforcement [2009]. This is an incredible feat and we are so proud that Mary MacQueen and her boy Robin (Am-Can Ch. Nitro’s Boy Wonder SDHF BISS TDI CGC Police K-9/Search and Rescue Dog). We came to know about Mary’s exceptional work in 2002 when she shared the story of Golden Working Dog-in-Training Buddy. And, we wrote about Robin earlier this week when I learned of his Cutaneous Epithelioltropic Lymphoma diagnosis and their being laid off from the Salamanca Police Department due to budget disputes.

Robin’s story was featured yesterday and today in The Salamanca Press, a paper that has been following his work in the community for several years now.

FREWSBURG — Less than a week after owner Mary MacQueen learned her dog, Robin, had been diagnosed with a malignant form of skin cancer, the pair visited Cornell University to run additional tests. After several tests — including chest x-rays, ultrasounds, blood work and urinalysis — the diagnosis was confirmed: Robin has Cutaneous Epitheliotropic Lymphoma.

Although MacQueen doesn’t expect to hear the complete results from the test for about a week, she does know Robin will at least have to undergo 16 days worth of radiation as well as another surgery procedure to followup one which removed a minor bump on Robin’s rib cage earlier in the month.

Depending on what the results determine, Robin may also need to have chemotherapy conducted.

MacQueen said the radiation is expected to cost at least $6,000, and she has been accepting donations online from friends, family members and fellow dog lovers. She said she wants to help not only Robin, but to raise awareness for the disease in general.

“What I am looking at now is a bigger plan than just Robin,” she said. “He is such a great ‘spokesdog’ for the things dogs are capable of. No matter what the future holds, maybe it will raise some additional awareness for the disease.”

Come over to to learn about Robin’s strong work ethic, this week still doing a drug demonstration for elementary school children. And, see how much we have now raised for his care at Cornell.

Be sure to spread the word about Robin’s story (you can use this short address as well:

Golden Retrievers on duty

Duffy, only 15-months-old, is already being trained for Drug Detection. You can learn more about our potent drug-detectors here.

And, here’s Golden Rocky, an explosive/bomb Detection Dog, searching for explosives off lead. You can learn more about this type of detection here.

Meet the 1st Golden to win AKC’s Law Enforcement ACE Award

ROBIN IS THE FIRST GOLDEN RETRIEVER IN HISTORY to win the American Kennel Club Humane Fund Award for Canine Excellence (ACE) in Law Enforcement [2009]. This is an incredible feat and we are so proud that Mary MacQueen and her Golden Robin are the recipients. We came to know about Mary’s exceptional work in 2002 when she shared the story of Golden Working Dog-in-Training Buddy, and continue to be amazed by her strong work ethic.

Six-year-old Golden Retriever Robin (Am-Can Ch. Nitro’s Boy Wonder SDHF BISS TDI CGC, Police K-9/Search and Rescue Dog) and Mary MacQueen work for the Salamanca Police Department, the Cattaraugus County Sheriff’s Office, and assist with searches for the Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force in Western New York State. In 2009 alone, Robin has been responsible for getting about half a million dollars worth of dangerous narcotics off the streets.

Robin and Mary’s work with the Cattaraugus County, NY Sheriff’s Office includes jail & vehicle searches, school searches, and searches during community festivals. Robin, the first narcotics certified K-9 in Cattaraugus County, is their first to be allowed to search people/students due to his easy going temperament and passive “sit” alert when he locates drugs.

Mary MacQueen and Robin also assist with searches for the Southern Tier Regional Drug task force and Kinzua Search Dogs, a non-profit, all volunteer group that endeavors to locate missing persons. Based in southwestern New York, Kinzua Search Dogs conducts searches in New York State as well as Pennsylvania.

Robin and Mary were recipients of the 2008 Police Officer of the Year award for the Salamanca Police Department. In addition to his work in law enforcement, Robin is also a therapy dog, AKC Canine Good Citizen, AKC Champion of Record, and the recipient of the Golden Retriever Club of America’s Show Dog Hall of Fame title.

When Robin’s busy schedule allows, he also leads local parades, visits hospitals and nursing homes, and makes trips to schools to educate students about the dangers of drug abuse. They say during community events and fundraisers that he can often be seen carrying a donation basket or lunch box filled with candy for the kids.

As shown in the video below, Robin appeared on NBC’s Today Show while at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog show with Mary.

At our foundation’s site, get the whole story and learn about this guy’s training that began at a mere 7 weeks of age.

National Service Dog Eye Exam Day

The American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists (ACVO) in association with Pet Health Systems, will host an unprecedented event in veterinary medicine the week of May 12, 2008. Over 140 board certified veterinary ophthalmologists will provide FREE eye exams to America’s Service Dogs. Pet Health Systems will provide a FREE lifestyle assessment, a biochemical profile, and complete blood count through their Pet Wellness Report and primary care veterinarians. It is anticipated that through these efforts Service Dog Health can be improved and potential disease averted.

Qualifying Service Dog groups include: guide dogs, mobility assistance dogs, detection dogs, and search & rescue dogs. Dogs must be active ‘working dogs’ that were certified by a formal training program or organization or currently enrolled in a formal training program to qualify. The certifying organization could be national, regional or local in nature. Essentially the dogs need to have some sort of certification and/or training paperwork to prove their status as a working Service Dog to participate in this year’s program.

Click on the image above to see a video about this special event

Click here for the steps to participate and to Register

Drug Detection Golden Retriever Kerry

Kerry is doing pretty impressive work.

“I don’t think we’ll ever solve the drug problem but with a dog like her we’ll make a good dent in it.” Lapointe said a recent incident during the Edson Sidewalk Jamboree in August proved Kerry’s superior sniffing abilities.

He said while he and Kerry were patrolling 50 Street the golden retriever detected the odour of drugs which resulted in an arrest of suspects half a block away.

Drug Detection Golden Retriever Red


Red sits beside Alise Tullier to show that he has found a suspicious substance in a locker (placed by Tullier) at West Alabama Prepatory School in Demopolis on May 4. While working, Tullier often places objects for Red to find in order to keep him sharp and focused. taff photo | Dusty Compton

Drug-sniffing dog company serves seven school systems
By Robert DeWitt, Tuscaloosa News Staff Writer

DEMOPOLIS | Lee Jordan’s business has gone to the dogs. And he likes it that way. “I’ve always had dogs and always enjoyed working with dogs,” Jordan said. “This gives me the opportunity to do that in my business.”

Jordan owns the Alabama franchise for Interquest Detection Canines. The company serves as a private contractor to school systems using trained dogs to sniff out illegal, over-the-counter and prescription drugs, alcohol, guns and explosives. …

While law enforcement officials typically use aggressive dogs like German shepherds or Belgian Malinois, Interquest uses hunting breeds like golden retrievers and Labradors, breeds most people consider friendly. They work at a steadier pace and instead of scratching and whining when they find contraband, they merely stop and sit down.

Jordan uses Red, his golden retriever, who calmly approaches when he’s called and wags his tail. Kids are just drawn to him,” Jordan said. “We’ve got some of the best trainers in the world. They’re even trained to go to the bathroom on command. We don’t want them having accidents in schools.”

You can learn more about drug detection dogs at our foundation site.

Golden Retriever Custer: Drug-Sniffing Wonder

This is Golden Custer, a Drug Sniffing wonder. You can learn more about him and about drug detection at our foundation site.

Dogs searching for contraband at Lahainaluna – The random “sniffs” occur only in public areas of the campus
By Kelsey Fortey, Lahainaluna High School

Custer, a golden retriever being used as a drug dog at Lahainaluna High School, awaits orders to search from owner Whitney White.

Drug Detection Golden Retriever Bingo on the job!

Big blow to drug trafficking
By MİLLİYET, Turkish Daily News

In a joint statement with the head of Istanbul Division of Turkey’s Anti-Narcotics Agency Tufan Ergüder, the Police Chief of Istanbul Celalettin Cerrah said 2,226 kilograms of heroin and 680 kilograms of marijuana have been confiscated since the beginning of 2007, in operations targeting drug trafficking and sales. He added that the numbers achieved were the highest of all times.

The narcotic dogs Lara and Bingo were also present at the press conference. The 3-year-old golden retriever Bingo helped seize 11,515 grams of heroin and 14,175 grams of opium, while the “Tarsus Çatalburun” breed Lara has helped seize 100 kilograms of heroin and 80 kilograms of opium during her two years with the division.

Drug Detection Golden Retriever Cisco

Rookie canine cop sniffs out a suspect
By Brent Whiting, The Arizona Republic

For Cisco, a rookie on the Youngtown police force, it was an exercise of putting his nose to the grindstone. The shorthaired golden retriever was credited Thursday by Dan Connelly, the town’s police chief, for putting a a suspected drug dealer behind bars.

Cisco was put into service in late February as a drug-detection canine, Connelly said.

On Tuesday, authorities said, the dog sniffed out cocaine and methamphetamine after undercover investigators had established contact with the suspect.

There’s more . . .

Detection Golden Retriever KC


Canines on campuses – Demonstration paves way for random contraband checks in local schools
By Kendyce Manguchei, News-Sentinel Staff Writer

The company contracted by Lodi Unified School District to sniff campuses for drugs, alcohol, weapons and gunpowder presented a demonstration and question-and-answer session at Lodi Middle School on Wednesday evening.

Sue Figueria, Kontraband Interdiction and Detection Services general manager, and Jerry Matt, the company’s lead dog trainer and executive vice president, introduced a golden retriever named KC.

On the stage of the multipurpose room, Figueria led KC down a row of backpacks and purses. KC sniffed one, then hunted for her toy. She moved to the next one, and sat. She circled a second backpack and sat again.

The dogs don’t actually know what alcohol, drugs or weapons are, Figueria said. Instead, they are continually hunting for their toy, a four-inch length of firehose stuffed with thick cotton batting.

She tossed the piece, or pretended to, and unzipped the bags to show what KC found: a miniature bottle of Jack Daniels, two shotgun shells. The crowd applauded.

K.I.D.S. dog handlers will soon conduct visits at each middle and high school campus until the end of the school year.

The canine program is the first here in at least 10 years. LUSD’s school board adopted a policy allowing drug-sniffing dogs in 1998. K.I.D.S. operates similar programs in school districts throughout California and its trainers have 50 years combined police and canine training and drug enforcement experience. The dogs are all Labrador or golden retrievers and are trained to simply sit down if they detect odors. They are not trained to detect odors from over-the-counter medications or tobacco.

Matt and Figueria stressed the program is not a “gotcha,” and not meant to get kids in trouble. They want to keep schools safe, and deter students from using drugs and alcohol and from bringing illegal items to school.

There’s more . . .

Golden Sniffer Dog Custer

Project unleashes drug-sniffing dog
By Claudine San Nicolas, Maui News Staff Writer

MAKAWAO – A dog’s acute sense of smell could help rid Maui school campuses of illegal drugs, alcohol and firearms. At least that’s the hope of a pilot program being unleashed for the first time in Hawaii at Kalama Intermediate School, a campus plagued by numerous reports of alleged drug and alcohol use.

On Wednesday night, approximately 20 parents showed up for a briefing on the program at the school’s cafeteria and to meet Custer, a 62-pound, male golden retriever. The mild-mannered dog is trained and managed by its owner, Whitney White of Interquest Detection Canines of Hawaii. White’s nonprofit agency will oversee the Kalama canine searches, paid for through private donations.

During the meeting with parents, White led Custer through a few areas in the cafeteria and a series of backpacks before he stopped and sniffed out a red backpack containing a sealed plastic bottle of vodka. Custer is trained to sniff out drugs, alcohol and abused medications as well as the scent of gun powder.

The dog will debut with Kalama students and faculty this morning during the school’s homeroom period. It’s the only time Custer will be expected by students. Future visits – to start within two weeks – will be unannounced.

Time to Go while the Going’s Still Good

Chester retires from Ketchum police force – Police dog purchased by former handler
By Terry Smith, Express Staff Writer

Chester, a golden retriever, is being retired from the Ketchum Police Department after almost eight years service in sniffing out illegal drugs and searching for missing people. After almost eight years of service with the Ketchum Police Department, Chester, a golden retriever trained to sniff out drugs or search for missing people, has been retired.

Chester doesn’t think he’s ready to give up police work, said his handler, Sgt. Forrest Danilson, but his certification has expired and he is being replaced by a younger animal. “He’s getting older,” Danilson said, “and we have a pup coming that’s just been certified. Chester’s in really good shape now, but the chief didn’t want something to happen to him and have to put him down.”

Chester has lived with Danilson since he became a member of the department’s K-9 unit in 1999. Although he’s no longer a police dog, Chester gets to continue living with Danilson. The Ketchum City Council unanimously passed a resolution Monday evening allowing Danilson to purchase Chester for $1. “Now he gets to ease into retirement,” Danilson said. “He doesn’t think he’s ready yet.”

Danilson said Chester was taken out of service in September when his certification expired. But still, some two months later, he waits for Danilson by the door when Danilson is getting ready for work.

Drug Golden is Dandy

Lincoln-Way OKs K-9 patrol deal
By Patrick Ferrell, Herald News Staff Writer

NEW LENOX — The Lincoln-Way High School District has a new weapon to combat illegal drug use. The school board on Thursday approved hiring a company that uses golden retrievers and other non-threatening breeds to search schools for drugs, alcohol and firearms.

Dandy, the golden retriever that will work at Lincoln-Way, gives the district something traditional police K-9s have not. “Most of the time, (police K-9s) would come in at midnight,” Superintendent Lawrence Wyllie said. “I wanted something that’s a little more visible and a little gentler.”

Dandy is 5 years old and works for Interquest Detection Canines of Chicago. The company is expected to conducted random unannounced visits to the district’s two campuses on a regular basis.

The program also includes a preliminary meeting where the dog and its handler will meet the students. “The goal is to help the students make good decisions,” said Nick Polyak, an assistant principal at Lincoln-Way Central. “It begins with a strong communications component. The first time, the dog is not going to search stuff. She’ll only be here so the students can get to know her.”


Golden Kilo Taking Bite Out of Crime

County drug dogs work hard to take bite out of crime in Jackson County
By Melissa Lore / Independent Reporter

Three drug dogs currently serve Jackson County under three separate departments. These dogs work very hard for their handlers and enjoy doing their job. They recently conducted a search at Newport High School as part of their training.Newport School District Resource Officer Pat McGee is responsible for the training that the dogs receive. He and his dog Gwendolyn (Gwennie), a Belgian Malinois, ensure the safety of the school system and occasionally sweep through the halls checking lockers for drugs or paraphernalia.

To prepare the training, McGee placed several baggies containing varieties of drugs, including Afghani marijuana, black tar heroin, methamphetamine, cocaine, and ecstacy throughout the halls and classrooms of the Tech Science building and in school vehicles.