AR-News: (US) Top dogs get special treat for their human-helping
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Sat Aug 23 19:42:44 EDT 2003
Top dogs get special treat for their human-helping heroics
By JENNIFER C. KERR Associated Press
<A HREF="http://www.tulsaworld.com/TWPDFs/2003/Final/a_9_8_22_2003.PDF">View in Print (PDF) Format</A>
Seven dogs from around the world are recognized for their roles in security
WASHINGTON -- Heroes comes in all shapes and sizes -- and breeds, too.
Popeye the basset hound's sad face brings laughter to children and adults at
hospitals and schools in Puerto Rico. Arthos, a solid-looking Beauceron
search-and-rescue dog from Germany, helped save the life of a suicidal 12-year-old
girl by leading police to the distressed child.
They joined five other dogs from around the world at a tribute ceremony
Thursday organized by "Paws to Recognize," a group that celebrates service dogs.
Solid bronze medals were placed around their necks.
The pooches also pressed their paw prints in cement for a Hollywood-style
"Canine Heroes Walk of Fame."
The four-legged heroes stood at the side of their handlers, who offered
comforting words and pats when the canines bowed to the dog days of Washington's
August heat and plopped their fur-covered bodies to the ground.
The canines' heroic efforts were applauded by Robert C. Bonner, Commissioner
of Customs and Border Protection at the Homeland Security Department, which
has 1,200 detector dogs.
"They are invaluable," he said.
Since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, Bonner said bureau dogs used to detect
drugs and explosives were also trained to search for chemical weapons, such as
The award for top dog in the United States went to a yellow Labrador
retriever named Crazy Joe, an 80-pound narcotic detector for Customs and Bor der
Protection who was adopted from an animal shelter. He's assigned to John F. Kennedy
International Airport in New York.
In his six-year career, Crazy Joe has uncovered more than $10 million worth
of cocaine, heroin and other narcotics. His handler, Cindy Grob, said his
biggest seizure was 60 pounds of cocaine stashed in a suitcase.
The initial reward, Grob said, for a job well done is the rolled-up towel.
"We really go crazy, jumping around, and hooting and hollering, playing tug of
war -- he loves it."
For a really big bust, she said, Crazy Joe is treated to "a nice big steak."
In an Internet vote of Americans for the program, he beat out five other
finalists -- including a black lab named Jake, who was part of a team from Utah
that searched for victims in the World Trade Center rubble.
The Paws to Recognize program was created by Pedigree Food for Dogs in
partnership with Wal-Mart.
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