GREENWOOD, Ind. — "We call her nosy Rosie because her nose is on everything,” said Jeremy Pell, White River Township Fire Chief. “That's not automatically the making of a search dog. What makes it special is that we can shape that behavior."
Rosie is a certified search and rescue dog working for the White River Township Fire Department in Johnson County. The German shepherd mix is trained to find human remains or the scent of a missing person.
Pell adopted Rosie from the Johnson County Animal Shelter 18 months ago. She was in good health but had been tied to a tree and abandoned. Pell had been looking for a new search and rescue dog after his dog Gunner died from cancer just six months after completing certification.
Pell found Rosie had great makings for the job.
"From rescued to rescuer,” said Pell. “We've been on three searches just this year alone, and she's going to make a difference in somebody's life."
Rosie is certified for searches on land and water, and for crime scenes and fire investigations, but she also comforts firefighters after traumatic runs and serves as an ambassador for fire education programs with children.
Rosie is currently on six weeks of recovery and rehabilitation. She just had hip replacement surgery 10 days ago. A genetic problem in the four-year-old dog’s hip caused her to limp after long days of training. Rosie's surgery cost $7,000 but was completely paid for by a charity called Spikes K9 Fund.
Rosie’s hair on her right hip is trimmed to her skin with about a four-inch scar from the surgery, but she walked out of the vet hospital a day after surgery. She’ll return to light duty around July 4 with a full recovery expected.
"We've got not only a great companion, but we have a great asset in Johnson County to go out and find people."
What other people are reading: