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.

Canine PTSD

This article is a very sad commentary on the utilization of innocent dogs for quite dangerous endeavors. While I do realize the life-saving that takes place via our canine friends at times such as earthquakes or on the slopes due to avalanches, I could never engage a dog of my own in such a field.

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

Memorial for Government Police K-9 Golden Retriever Austin

We recently brought you the story of Golden Austin, and now have updated information about a “Celebration of Life” memorial that will be held in Austin, TX on March 6th.

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imageWhen the AKC has announced the winners of the first Awards for Canine Excellence (ACE) in 2000, Golden Retriever Austin, owned by Officer Jim Minton, of Austin, Texas, was their Search and Rescue recipient.

A classic Cinderella story: A bedraggled stray is turned in to the Greater Houston Golden Retriever Club’s rescue program and, after a few twists of fate, becomes an honored search-and-rescue dog. Austin’s inspiring story culminates in his work at the site of the Texas A&M bonfire collapse that killed 12 people and injured 27 others.

According to his handler, Officer Jim Minton, Austin was one important working Golden.

Austin has been on overseas assignments three times and one trip involved us being evacuated out of the region by the U. S. Customs and DEA air wing. This was after thugs had placed a $30,000 price tag on Austin to kill or kidnap him. This is nothing unusual. Drug dogs working the border often face the very same threat.

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Austin himself was found and rescued as a puppy from the woods east of Houston, Texas, by hunters. He was then turned over to a Greater Houston Golden Retriever Club’s rescue program , where Texas Hearing and Service Dogs purchased him and provided testing and training before donating him to the Austin Police Department in January 1999. Austin has since been trained to rescue people. On

October 28, 2000 Mayor Kirk Watson proclaimed that date “K-9 Austin Day” for the City of Austin. On November 11, 2000 Austin was inducted into the Texas Animal Hall of Fame.

Austin was certified in Tracking, Cadaver, and Chemical Biological Detection. After Jim retired from the Austin Police Department, where Austin was on the job from 1999 to 2004, he and Austin began working at the Federal Level specializing in Chemical-Biological Detection (2004-2008). Jim Minton, a Senior Law Enforcement K-9 Handler/Instructor and Senior K-9 Chemical-Biological Specialist for U.S. Govt. and U.S. Military Response only.

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A Very Sad Ending
Police K-9 Austin died on February 16, 2008 in his loving handler’s arms. He had been rushed into emergency surgery due to having developed bloat, and managed to survive the procedure. However, shortly after waking up his vitals deteriorated and as Jim so desolately said:

Austin looked at me, wide awake and alert, took a deep breath, exhaled, laid his head down, I kissed him, monitors started sounding, and Austin left this cruel world.

Jim has indicated that there will be a special police K-9 memorial service for this 10-11 year old hero. And, he shared this heartfelt message with me on February 21st:

Rochelle, thank you so much for the kind words. I don’t know how much more of this excruciating pain I can endure. I know other people hurt just like I am when they loose a Golden. So I’m not doing the “poor me” thing. But Dammmmm this is killing me. He and I were together for more than 10 years nearly 24 hours a day / 7 days a week.

I’m sure Greg and Carrie haven’t told you, but they have been absolutely totally 100% percent sweethearts. They trusted me enough to allow their Golden “Pippy” to come home with me the night of the day Austin died. Pippy slept in bed with me and was spoiled rotten for nearly 24 hours. The only stipulation was, I had to bring her home the next day. I called the next afternoon and tried to convince Greg that they said just bring her back next year! LOL But he was too slick and caught on! (Actually my friend called for me) My voice would not work from my crying so much.) I must tell you, I had already planned on staying in a hotel room that night because the pain was just too much when I tried to go home. However, Carrie and Greg being considerate and giving as they are, allowed me to sleep in my own bed with a very loving Golden.

This was so sudden and unexpected. Running and playing just 24 hours prior to his death. I must tell you, At one time, 3 veterinarians and 7 vet techs were working on Austin all at one time. They fought to save his life for nearly 18 solid hours. You can only imagine the tremendous invoice! No big deal as I say. It’s only money. They were given unlimited financial authority and CPR was authorized during surgery of needed.

I just found out today that the U. S. Department of Defense is sending a flag that was flying in a war zone in Iraq the day Austin died. A couple of guys I helped with on some special training just prior to their deployment managed to make this happen. They both petted on Austin throughout the entire 2 weeks of training. Another flag is coming from a U. S. Embassy overseas where we were assigned for a short time on a specific assignment. In short, Austin has a following. Hell, I should have run fro President when he was around. But, even though it’s getting exciting, it does NOT bring my baby home.

You can learn more about Austin’s story at his page at our foundation’s site. Just click here.

Honoring SAR and Chemical-Biological Detection Golden Retriever Austin

imageWhen the AKC has announced the winners of the first Awards for Canine Excellence (ACE) in 2000, Golden Retriever Austin, owned by Officer Jim Minton, of Austin, Texas, was their Search and Rescue recipient.

A classic Cinderella story: A bedraggled stray is turned in to the Greater Houston Golden Retriever Club’s rescue program and, after a few twists of fate, becomes an honored search-and-rescue dog. Austin’s inspiring story culminates in his work at the site of the Texas A&M bonfire collapse that killed 12 people and injured 27 others.

According to his handler, Officer Jim Minton, Austin was one important working Golden.

Austin has been on overseas assignments three times and one trip involved us being evacuated out of the region by the U. S. Customs and DEA air wing. This was after thugs had placed a $30,000 price tag on Austin to kill or kidnap him. This is nothing unusual. Drug dogs working the border often face the very same threat.

tog.jpg

Austin himself was found and rescued as a puppy from the woods east of Houston, Texas, by hunters. He was then turned over to a Greater Houston Golden Retriever Club’s rescue program , where Texas Hearing and Service Dogs purchased him and provided testing and training before donating him to the Austin Police Department in January 1999. Austin has since been trained to rescue people. On

October 28, 2000 Mayor Kirk Watson proclaimed that date “K-9 Austin Day” for the City of Austin. On November 11, 2000 Austin was inducted into the Texas Animal Hall of Fame.

Austin was certified in Tracking, Cadaver, and Chemical Biological Detection. After Jim retired from the Austin Police Department, where Austin was on the job from 1999 to 2004, he and Austin began working at the Federal Level specializing in Chemical-Biological Detection (2004-2008). Jim Minton, a Senior Law Enforcement K-9 Handler/Instructor and Senior K-9 Chemical-Biological Specialist for U.S. Govt. and U.S. Military Response only.

aaafc.jpg

A Very Sad Ending
Police K-9 Austin died on February 16, 2008 in his loving handler’s arms. He had been rushed into emergency surgery due to having developed bloat, and managed to survive the procedure. However, shortly after waking up his vitals deteriorated and as Jim so desolately said:

Austin looked at me, wide awake and alert, took a deep breath, exhaled, laid his head down, I kissed him, monitors started sounding, and Austin left this cruel world.

Jim has indicated that there will be a special police K-9 memorial service for this 10-11 year old hero. And, he shared this heartfelt message with me on February 21st:

Rochelle, thank you so much for the kind words. I don’t know how much more of this excruciating pain I can endure. I know other people hurt just like I am when they loose a Golden. So I’m not doing the “poor me” thing. But Dammmmm this is killing me. He and I were together for more than 10 years nearly 24 hours a day / 7 days a week.

I’m sure Greg and Carrie haven’t told you, but they have been absolutely totally 100% percent sweethearts. They trusted me enough to allow their Golden “Pippy” to come home with me the night of the day Austin died. Pippy slept in bed with me and was spoiled rotten for nearly 24 hours. The only stipulation was, I had to bring her home the next day. I called the next afternoon and tried to convince Greg that they said just bring her back next year! LOL But he was too slick and caught on! (Actually my friend called for me) My voice would not work from my crying so much.) I must tell you, I had already planned on staying in a hotel room that night because the pain was just too much when I tried to go home. However, Carrie and Greg being considerate and giving as they are, allowed me to sleep in my own bed with a very loving Golden.

This was so sudden and unexpected. Running and playing just 24 hours prior to his death. I must tell you, At one time, 3 veterinarians and 7 vet techs were working on Austin all at one time. They fought to save his life for nearly 18 solid hours. You can only imagine the tremendous invoice! No big deal as I say. It’s only money. They were given unlimited financial authority and CPR was authorized during surgery of needed.

I just found out today that the U. S. Department of Defense is sending a flag that was flying in a war zone in Iraq the day Austin died. A couple of guys I helped with on some special training just prior to their deployment managed to make this happen. They both petted on Austin throughout the entire 2 weeks of training. Another flag is coming from a U. S. Embassy overseas where we were assigned for a short time on a specific assignment. In short, Austin has a following. Hell, I should have run fro President when he was around. But, even though it’s getting exciting, it does NOT bring my baby home.

You can learn more about Austin’s story at his page at our foundation’s site. Just click here.

Our Explosive Detection Dogs

TSA Aims To Keep Airports Safe With Hybrid Dog
Jim Benemann Reporting

(CBS4) SAN ANTONIO “Seek…..Up…..Good Boy, Xzylo!” At Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, a thin golden dog named Xzylo makes quick work of the cargo area. With only a few commands from his handler, he finds a bomb buried in a bin of mail bags.

Even though this area looks like it could be part of any airport cargo area, it is, in fact, a training area for dogs like Xzylo.

Since Sept. 11, 2001, the Department of Homeland Security has looked for every possible way to make air travel and mass transit safer in this country. As a part of that effort, they have come up with four legged solutions like Xzylo.

There’s more with a very cool video news report . . .

Golden Zanjeer

Zanjeer, city’s saviour many times over, RIP
By Somit Sen, The Times of India

MUMBAI: The police force is obviously happy at the way the 1993 serial blasts case is progressing in court. But there is one key member of the probe team — a significant contributor to the investigation — who is no more, officers who have cracked the case and made huge hauls of RDX now lament.They are talking of Zanjeer the Golden Retriever, named after the 1973 Big-B blockbuster about an honest cop. He made sniffing out RDX look a really easy job and — in the process — helped avert at least three more blasts after the March 1993 mayhem.

When he died, he had already sniffed out 3,330 kg of RDX, officials who worked with him told TOI on Wednesday. Zanjeer was just one year old when he joined the Bomb Detection and Disposal Squad (BDDS) in December 1992. He was trained in Pune and, according to then BDDS chief Nandkumar Choughule, he was “appointed not a moment too soon”.

Choughule, now an assistant commissioner in the Navi Mumbai traffic branch, recalled: “Zanjeer was g-d-sent. In Mumbra, when men were unable to track down the explosives, it was Zanjeer who helped locate 32 gunny bags of RDX.”

Zanjeer shot to fame when he detected the scooter bomb on Dhanji Street on 15 March 1993. Zanjeer was taken around the two-wheeler, parked a stone’s throw away from the BDDS office, and he barked thrice after a sniff.

Read more…..

Extraordinary Talent

K-9s (and Canines) Show Extraordinary Talent for Work, Companionship
By Greg Jordan, Bluefield Daily Telegraph

I’ve been running into some very interesting dogs lately. Just a couple of weeks ago I was introduced to some police dogs at Augusta K-9 near Rocky Gap, Va. Now to truly visualize these dogs, you have to abandon the stereotype of a huge snarling beast ready to rip off a felon’s arm. I have seen police dogs capable of subduing a man, but they do it only when necessary.The first dog that I was introduced to that bright Friday morning broke the stereotype and buried the pieces. This cop dog was Rowdy, an energetic golden retriever who came running as if he just loved me and hadn’t seen me in ages. Augusta K-9’s operator Mike Munson remarked that I must like dogs. Dogs can always smell people who like dogs.

Rowdy proceeded to demonstrate his ability to trace explosives with an nasal sense Superman would envy, finding minute amounts of plastique that a human would surely overlook. And what did Rowdy want in return for all this work? He loved nothing better than a chance to play with a tennis ball.

Read more…….