Lost pup destined to save lives

Denise Lashmett, executive director of the Roice-Hurst Humane Society, frolicked with Hunter, a two-year-old golden retriever who will be trained as a search and rescue dog in California.

A two-year-old golden retriever at Roice Hurst Humane Society passed a number of agility tests and stole the hearts of a facility in California who trains search and rescue dogs.

Hunter was found in a driveway and brought to the no-kill facility by the homeowner in March. He was in good physical condition but despite efforts by Mesa County and the facility, his owner was unable to be found.

The Search Dog Foundation had toured the Humane Society in February and told staff what characteristics they were looking for in dogs. One of those was an obsessiveness with chew toys and a hyper personality.

“Hunter seemed like the perfect dog for search and rescue,” said Denise Lashmett, executive director of Roice-Hurst.

Lashmett and staff put Hunter through an agility test which they filmed. The tape was sent to the California facility who agreed that the dog was perfect for search and rescue training. Hunter will be leaving Colorado as soon as transportation is arranged, probably within the next few days.

“It’s awesome. We saved him and now maybe he can save somebody’s life in return,” Lashmett said.

Any type of dog can be trained in search and rescue but usually ideal candidates are labs, border collies, and golden retrievers.

The National Disaster Search Dog Foundation in Ojai, CA. trains and pairs dogs with firefighters so that they can help find victims buried under rubble during a disaster. The dogs are also offered a lifetime of care, despite their service abilities.

“It just goes to show you,” Lashmett said, “that there’s nothing wrong with shelter dogs.”

The Roice Hurst Humane Society is located at 3320 D 1/2 Road in Clifton. Information and photos of dogs and cats needing a home is available at http://www.rhhumansociety.com.



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