Special dog sniffs out fire causes


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOTV) A Kent County Sheriff’s Department deputy has a special partner who lives and works with him to help solve arson cases. Deputy Dale DeKorte works with a three-year-old Goldador named Ritzey.

Ritzey and Deputy DeKorte
Ritzey and Deputy DeKorte

Ritzey came from Paws With A Cause. Her goal is to look for accelerants, which are fuels that may be used to set fires. Ritzey smells with 220 million olfactory receptors in her nose. Humans have five million. She goes with Deputy DeKorte to fire scenes and help fire investigators develop a cause and collect evidence for their cases.

Ritzey’s work is important to families because children are responsible for approximately 20% to 40% of fires, because of their curiosity about fires. He recommends parents keep lighters and matches out of children’s reach to help prevent accidental fires.

For more information about arson and accelerant detection canines, visit the United States Fire Administration website.

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