Arson dog not allowed in Wash. firehouses

Officials won't allow him to keep Allie with him while on duty because of fellow employees' concerns about allergies to pet dander


PT Leader

BRINNON, Wash. — Come July, Brinnon Fire Department Chief Patrick Nicholson and 2-year-old yellow Labrador retriever Allie are to be Washington's only certified arson detection team.

Nicholson, who also works about 10 days a month as a firefighter with East Jefferson Fire Rescue (EJFR), returned May 8 from a five-week training program in Alfred, Maine, where he and Allie became a team certified by the Maine Criminal Justice Academy.

"It was pretty intense," Nicholson said of the State Farm Insurance–sponsored Arson Dog Program, for which he had received a $25,000 scholarship to attend. "I was the only person there from west of the Mississippi. They told me that the Spokane arson dog plans to retire this year [in July], which would leave Allie and I as the only team in the state."

Full story: Arson dog Allie not allowed in firehouse

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