Calif. firefighters say goodbye to veteran search dog

Stella, who had worked alongside Captain Matt Kirk since 2009, lost her battle with cancer

By FireRescue1 Staff

LA MESA, Calif. — A fire department said goodbye to a veteran search and rescue dog who lost her battle with cancer.

Heartland Fire and Rescue announced the passing of Stella, an 11-year-old canine search dog and member of California Task Force 8, on their Instagram page.

Stella worked with Capt. Matt Kirk since 2009.

“Captain Kirk has had Stella for 10 years and has spent over 2,000 hours training to find victims during all types of disasters; most recently the Montecito Mudslides and Hurricane Irma,” the Instagram post read.

The department added that Stella was a “vital resource” who was “deeply loved.”

“She was excited to see you every shift and would always brighten your day,” the post read. We can all learn something from Stella’s stellar attitude and work ethic, she will be greatly missed.”


A post shared by @heartlandfirefightersoflamesa on



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