Fire Department K-9 Awarded Dog of the Year

Ranger is a Yellow Lab who is also a member of the Shreveport Fire Department's Recovery Team. His payment is always a ball cap, he likes to chew on them. "He has come a long way, I would put him up against the top dogs in the nation," says his handler, Captain Kerry Foster with the Shreveport Fire Department. The long road Captain Foster speaks of winds through a disaster, Hurricane Katrina, where cadaver dogs like Ranger were desperately needed. "Ranger was the only dog on the ground for close to a month," says Captain Foster. Ranger's daunting task - find those who had died. "We had never really worked to such an extreme there were houses in the middle of the street, rubble in the middle of the street, houses that shouldn't have even been entered, we went into," says Captain Foster. Because of that determination five families were reunited with the remains of loved ones. "By finding these individuals the families now have closure, and understand exactly what happened and they're not a part of a pile of debris," says Captain Foster. That work made Ranger a champion - the 2007 AKC and ACE Dog of the Year, but it wasn't easy. The New Orleans trip resulted in serious injuries. Captain Foster tells us He put six staples in Ranger's chest from a cut and had put him in surgery because he cut into the knuckle of the right front foot, so he had three injuries. Ranger has recovered, and Captain Foster says none of the injuries kept Ranger out of the field for more than a day.