Life may get a little bit easier for the crew of the Flower Mound Fire Department in the Dallas-Fort Worth area now that a special doggie has joined the ranks.
Meet Ziva. This 1-year-old black Labrador was trained to sniff out accelerants that could be used to start fires. Following a blaze, she can detect where the substance was applied. Fire personnel can then send a sample to a lab to confirm if the accelerant was used, and to determine whether arson took place.
Ruling out arson usually takes the fire marshal’s office several hours. Ziva can now use her skills to take a chunk out of that time. She can also assist in speeding up the insurance claims process.
Ziva will be paired with fire prevention officer Jason Bolejack.
“It’s an honor to be able to work one-on-one with Ziva and witness what an incredible asset she will be to our community,” Bolejack said. “She has already become a much-loved member of our family.”
Born for a Cause
Ziva originally was trained to be a disability-assistance canine with Paws with a Cause in Michigan. She had her career path shifted toward accelerant-sniffing dog because of her strong prey drive and playful nature, according to city spokesperson, Molly Fox.
Ziva was provided to the department through a grant by State Farm. She is one of several dogs enrolled in the State Farm Arson Dog Program. Most of these dogs were recruited from animal shelters, rescue organizations, or certified-companion programs.
According to the Dallas Morning News, some of these dogs were trained to provide other services, but were promoted to the program due to their friendly energy.