Phoenix FD adds 65-pound arson dog
Sonny is the first arson dog in six years to serve with the Phoenix Fire Department
By FireRescue1 Staff
PHOENIX — The Phoenix Fire Department has hired a 65-pound yellow Labrador mix to help sniff for accelerants and signs of arson.
According to KTAR News, Sonny is a 2 1/2-year golden retriever mixed with a yellow lab. His training started in April with his handler Capt. Robby Simpson. Sonny's training spanned four weeks, and he has been with the department and assisting neighboring departments ever since.
Sonny is the first arson dog in six years that the department has added to its ranks.
"He's a great resource for the department," Simpson said. "Everybody loves him and loves to see him. He loves to see them."
Sonny had initially trained as a disability service dog but, unfortunately, failed the program. About a year ago, PFD started looking into hiring an arson dog.
Officials reached out to State Farm, an insurance company that sponsors a program specifically dealing with arson dogs. They applied and were approved.
State Farm paid for Sonny's training, and he is now a member of the Phoenix Fire Department serving as an arson dog.
"He's a very lovable, social dog," Simpson said. "When we go home, he's all puppy. When we go to work, he's social, but he understands when he needs to become serious."
It’s #NationalFirePupDay and @PHXFire is showing off Sonny’s skills! Captain Robby Simpson and Sonny went through 200 hours of training together and now Sonny joins him on shift. His speciality, sniffing out evidence of arson. @KTAR923 pic.twitter.com/GoUSxxIYDy— Ali Vetnar (@Ali_Vetnar) October 1, 2019