12 canine teams are part of the 150 search and rescue personnel who have been deployed to Japan by FEMA. 6 K9 teams from Los Angeles and six from Fairfax County, Virginia, are searching badly damaged areas on the Japanese coast, looking for people who may be trapped but either unconscious or too weak to call out for help. The dogs are trained to use their incredible scenting ability to find the victims. http://blog.fema.gov/
A flatcoated retriever named Jet won Best in Show at the prestigious Crufts competition in Birmingham, England, defeating 21,000 other dogs. Jet’s breeder, Jim Irvine, credits the win to Jet’s “very happy and outgoing personality, and it shows in the ring.” Reserve Best in Show went to Jilly, a Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen from Wallingford, Oxfordshire, winner of the Hound group. Other group winners were the German Shepherd Elmo, who won the pastoral group (that group is called “Herding” in the US); the Boxer Max, who won the Working Group; Wire Fox Terrier Henry; Theo, a Standard Poodle, who took first place in the Utility group; and Eric, a Bichon Frise which won the Toy category.
A Seattle woman whose German Shorthaired Pointer was electrocuted on Thanksgiving has filed a lawsuit against the city of Seattle for 60 thousand dollars. Sammy stepped on a metal streetlight ground cover plate while walking with his owner, Lisa McKibbin. Her lawyer said Sammy “did not have a fair market or replacement value,” but “a unique value…. My clients loved Sammy as if he were their child.” The City Light agency said it inspected and repaired more than 37,000 metal streetlight poles and ground-cover plates since the accident.
John Baker of Alaska held a three hour lead in the 11-hundred mile Iditarod Trail Sled Dog race on Monday, less than 200 miles from the finish line in Nome. He was an hour and a half ahead of two other Alaskans, Hans Gatt and Ramey Smyth. The Defending champion, Lance Mackey, was 13th in the standings. The next Part of the trail runs over the treacherous sea ice of Norton Sound. The Iditarod began March 5 with 62 teams. Ten have scratched or withdrawn.
In Virginia, a Prince William County police officer and his canine partner are being honored for their response to an armed and hostile suicidal man in December. Officer Bill Van Antwerp and his German Shepherd, Hawkeye, safely took the armed man into custody after Hawkeye disabled him by biting and holding onto his thigh. The man was carrying a rifle and several handguns, but none of the responding officers were injured.