Cover image for Hero dogs : how a pack of rescues, rejects, and strays became America's greatest disaster-search partners
Hero dogs : how a pack of rescues, rejects, and strays became America's greatest disaster-search partners
Melville, Wilma, author.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : St. Martin's Press, 2019.

Physical Description:
327 pages, 16 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations (chiefly color) ; 22 cm
"The true story of the National Disaster Search Dog Foundation, and the amazing dogs and their handlers that faced off with devastating catastrophes from 9/11 to Hurricane Katrina. In 1995, Wilma Melville volunteered as a canine search-and-rescue (SAR) handler with her Black Labrador, Murphy, in the aftermath of the Oklahoma City bombing. At the time, there were only fifteen FEMA-certified SAR dogs in the United States. Believing in the value of these remarkable animals to help save lives, Wilma knew many more were needed in the event of future major disasters. She made a vow to help 168 dogs receive search-and-rescue training in her lifetime--one for every Oklahoma City victim. Wilma singlehandedly established the National Disaster Search Dog Foundation (SDF) to meet this challenge. The first canine candidates--Ana, Dusty, and Harley--were a trio of Golden Retrievers with behavioral problems, considered irredeemable and unadoptable. But with patience, discipline, and love applied during training, they proved to have the ability, agility, and stamina to graduate as SARs. Paired with a trio of firefighters, they were among the first responders searching the ruins of the World Trade Center following 9/11--setting the standard for the more than 168 SDF search-and-rescue dogs that followed. Beautiful and heart-wrenching, Hero Dogs is the story of one woman's dream brought to fruition by dedicated volunteers and firefighters--and the bonds they forged with the incredible rescued-turned-rescuer dogs to create one of America's most vital resources in disaster response."--Dust jacket.
Watch her go -- From the shadow of evil : Oklahoma City, OK -- Finding the talented misfits -- Princess Ana -- Dusty girl -- The good soul -- Enter the master trainer -- Training begins -- The wobbly monster cometh -- Trial by fire -- The poop bag decree -- All together now -- Our new home is the city dump -- Part-time means full-time -- The Shermanator and Stretch Armstrong -- Duke and the Velcro dog -- The drama queen and the gunshot survivor -- The tipping point -- Irondog -- September 10, 2001 -- September 11, 2001 -- September 12, 2001 -- "They're all dead." -- The storm and the question -- Down we go -- Reinforcements -- "Where can I get dogs like that?" -- American made -- Left for dead -- Fire and ice -- Broken beyond repair -- Not quite making the cut -- Recon against the machine (or, The Monday Night Football incident) -- A new era -- Nothing left but splinters -- The search must go on -- Buried alive : Haiti -- Hollywood hunter -- Wilma's vision.
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