dog rescue

‘Unadoptable’ Shelter Dog Set To Be Put Down Is Rescued And Trained To Save Disaster Victims

by Caralynn Lippo
Caralynn is a writer, native New Yorker, TV enthusiast, and dog mom to Hobbes.

Every day, dogs are tragically put down for a variety of reasons.

There are many animals in the world that are in need of a good home. Unfortunately, there just aren’t enough loving families to take them all in. This is a particularly difficult problem for so-called “unadoptable” dogs. These are pooches that are typically considered to have traits that make them too much to handle as a pet. These issues usually stem from a lack of socialization as a puppy, a history of abuse by a previous owner, or even a simple excess of energy.

In the case of Rocket, it was his high-energy temperament that made him difficult to adopt out. Thankfully, before he could be euthanized, a very special person saw his potential and saved his life. Now, Rocket is giving back — by saving the lives of others!

Scroll through to learn more about Rocket’s incredible story!

Thumbnail Photo: Facebook / Windsor Fire Protection District

[H/T: Redbook Magazine]

If you’re looking to help the victims of the recent hurricanes, consider donating to the Red Cross, or take a look at these eight ways you can lend a hand.

The National Disaster Search Dog Foundation shared Rocket’s incredible journey in a post on August 28, 2017.

They write:

Due to his high energy, Rocket was considered unadoptable and placed on the euthanasia list, but the SPCA staff knew he had promising Search Dog characteristics and contacted Andrea to evaluate him for our program.

Rocket wasn’t an immediate fit but Andrea and her canine Handler husband adopted Rocket anyway, and he was later accepted!

Rocket thrived in training and was partnered with Engineer Mike Stornetta of the Windsor Fire District on August 6, 2014. 

They achieved FEMA Certification and this [Hurricane Harvey relief] is their second deployment together, but first major deployment as members of Oakland-based California Task Force 4.

Denise Sanders, a spokeswoman for the National Disaster Search Dog Foundation, further explained to PEOPLE that his evaluator Angela “fell in love with him” and took him home with her because she wanted to give him another chance after initially failing the search dog evaluation in 2012. Months later, in 2013, Rocket passed the test “with flying colors.”

Rocket, a Border Collie Mix, and his handler Mike have been working together, helping those in need after the devastation of Hurricane Harvey.

According to Redbook Magazine, Rocket’s first assignment was helping out after a plane crash in California. Now, he is one of 14 search dogs working in Texas.

His specialty is finding victims who are still alive, but trapped, during disasters. Obviously, this is something that came in handy in the aftermath of the devastating tropical storm in Houston.

On September 6th, the Windsor Fire Protection District, where Mike and Rocket are based, shared an update about the duo’s work.

“The task force was on its way home from Hurricane Harvey when FEMA called and said we need your help, Hurricane Irma is coming ashore. The ‘convey’ did a U- turn and are now headed to help with yet another natural disaster,” they wrote. “The team is crossing back through Texas right now headed to Alabama to get their next assignment.”

“Firefighter K-9 handler Mike Stornetta said, ‘We are in good spirits and remain ready to help!’ Mike said that ‘Rocket is settling into life on the road but he is eager to get out and do his job.’ Our thoughts and prayers are with all those affected and all of the front line responders on the ground helping those in need!”

There’s no doubt about it: Rocket and Mike are true heroes!

Isn’t it amazing how Rocket has found a second chance in life, thanks to Andrea and Mike, and is now using that second chance to help others?

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