Spring 2013 Magazine

National Fire Dog Monument

A monument honoring firefighters, law enforcement officials and their invaluable arson dogs will take its place among the other monuments in Washington, D.C.. The National Fire Dog Monument made a 2,000 mile journey across the country on the way to its permanent home. During the journey, it stopped in 12 major cities where it was displayed at local firehouses.

This statue pays tribute to the teamwork between humans and their canine companions in solving arson crimes. The statue titled, "From Ashes to Answers," was commissioned by Jerry Means, an arson investigator from the Colorado Bureau of Investigation, and was sculpted by 22-year-old Colorado firefighter, Austin Weishel.

Means own arson dog, Sadie, received national recognition as the winner of the 2011 American Humane Association Hero Dog AwardsT in the category of Law Enforcement/Arson Dog. She also was the model for this statue.

Arson dogs, also known as accelerant detection canines, are trained to sniff out and indicate traces of petroleum products such as gasoline or lighter fluid that might be used to start a fire. To become certified for this work, the dogs and their owners go through weeks of professional training and must pass yearly testing to maintain their certification.

The National Fire Dog Monument Tour was sponsored by State Farm and the American Humane Association. Since 1993, State Farm is the only company in North America to provide funding for the acquisition and training of arson dogs in the United States and Canada and has supported more than 300 arson dog teams in 44 states, 3 Canadian provinces and the District of Colombia.

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