All Paws on Deck: Hamilton County receives arson dog

All Paws on Deck: Hamilton County receives arson dog

CINCINNATI (FOX19) - The Sharonville Fire Department has a new member on board, who is ready to tackle fires with all paws on deck.

Sonnet is the only arson dog currently in Hamilton County.

Lt. Chris Ellis and Sonnet just came back from a six-week training academy in Virginia. The training was completed on Friday and now Sonnet is ready for action.

“The community has been very supportive, the city has been very supportive, and the fact that there is a lack of that resource in the area and that it’s actually a federal asset so, that is really special,” said Sharonville Fire Department Chief Kirk Mousa. “And the city of Sharonville is happy to be a part of that and to support just such an animal.”

Sonnet will be able to help determine if a fire was arson or not during an investigation.

“We do see several a year just here in the city of Sharonville and the investigation teams obviously throughout the county sees significantly more so, the asset will be very beneficial to the region,” said Chief Mousa.

Sonnet will help fire departments save both time and money.

“As far as time in investigating fire scenes, it cuts down on the amount of stuff that needs to be done, it cuts down on the evidence collection,” Lt. Ellis. “As far as money, it saves on not having to use the evidence collection supplies if the accelerants are not there, she doesn’t alert to them, then there’s no reason to alert and test for them.”

While Sonnet is still a pup in training, she already hit the ground running attending her first fire on Tuesday.

Fortunately, no accelerants were found.

“When she’s deployed to a scene of a fire, she’ll go and sniff all the debris and she sniffs where the typical human being would smell a cheeseburger, she would smell the bun, the pickles, the lettuce, the tomato, and the meat and decipher what it is and if she detects one of the several odors she’s trained on, she will alert by sitting,” said Lt. Ellis. “And then she will be praised and fed, and we’ll go a second time and she will show you where the odor is coming from.”

Tax-deductible donations can be made to the Hamilton County Fire Chief but note arson dog or K9 Sonnet.

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