Five years ago, a rambunctious shelter dog named “Rocket” was deemed un-adoptable; his boundless energy believed to be too much for any adopter to take on. Fast forward to today – the border collie mix was given a second chance after employees at the Sacramento SPCA saw his potential as a search and rescue dog, reported the Sacramento Bee.
It wasn’t immediately smooth sailing for the high-drive dog. In fact, he failed his initial evaluation by a National Disaster Search Dog Foundation (SDF) recruiter. Fortunately, despite Rocket’s inability to pass the first-round testing, he was adopted by Andrea, the SDF recruiter who evaluated him, and her canine handler husband.
With the help of his adoptive family, Rocket was able to get into the SDF program, where he “thrived in training.” In 2014, Rocket was partnered with Engineer Mike Stornetta of the Windsor Fire District – together, they achieved FEMA Certification. The duo is currently one of 14 search dog pairs who are deployed to Texas to aid in the devastation caused by Hurricane Harvey.
Rocket’s high drive may have been too much for the average family to take on, but it’s just what is needed to make him a successful search and rescue canine. Recruiter of Search Dog Rocket, Andrea B. stated, “I’m so glad that Mike and Rocket are able to respond to those in need (in Texas)! It is truly amazing to see how far Rocket has come! I’m overwhelmed to think of all of the people and time and effort that has gone into a stray dog that no one wanted. This is what it’s all about! Great Job SDF!!!”
(Photo: Lalita Segal/National Disaster Search Dog Foundation)
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