Farewell to Striker the working dog | NevadaAppeal.com

Farewell to Striker the working dog

Kathleen Williams-Miller

Megan (Munoz) Kendall is one of the most impressive young women I have ever known. She was my student in first grade, and she graduated from Churchill County High School in 2002.

This was a sad week for Megan because her incredible boxer named Striker went over the Rainbow Bridge.

Striker wasn't just a pet. For the past seven years, Striker and Megan have been members of Indiana K9 Search and Recovery.

In 2015, he was certified in Human Remains Detection (HRD) through the International Police Work Dog Association. The volunteer search unit is used free of charge by law enforcement in the Midwest, where Megan resides.

Her unit trains 150 hours a year, which is three Saturdays a month. Certifying a canine in HRD usually takes two years of training. Striker took almost four years.

HRD canines are dogs who look for the scent left by human, remains and decomposition. These dogs are trained to find only human, not animal, remains. The dogs and their handlers are generally partnered with law enforcement and are used to solve cases or provide closure for families. They are utilized in wilderness, water and disaster situations.

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The training is extremely rigorous and demanding for both dog and handler. There are many phases of the training, and each one takes months or years for mastery. The dog and trainer must work as a unit, with each one understanding the other's expectations. The test to become a certified HRD dog is as rigorous as the training. It includes basic obedience skills and a timed search for the dog to find a specific number of cadaver articles in a search area larger than an acre.

Several factors determine if the dog passes the test. They will fail if they cannot pass the obedience portion of the test or if the dog indicates there are human remains and there are none.

Failure also occurs if they don't find all articles of human remains and the handler determined the area was clear or the time limit runs out before all the articles were found.

Striker aced the certification test and went on to serve his community. He was a hero who loved his job and was loved by everyone who met him. His star burns bright in heaven now!

IN NEED OF

Funds to replenish our veterinary account.

Aluminum cans, which we recycle to augment our shelter funds. We are now able to pick up cans from you! If you have cans to pick up, call 775-423-7500.

SHOUT OUT TO

Fallon Horseman's Association for donating the beautiful sweatshirt for the raffle at Bark in the Park. You are awesome!

Blueberry for donating collars and goodie bags for Bark in the Park! A Four Paw Salute to you!

Brenda Utterback for all of the wonderful items you have donated to CAPS. We appreciate your dedication!

COME SEE US

CAPS will be at Walmart on June 16 with the Kissin' Booth and a puckered-up pooch. Come by to get your pooch smooch. We have colorful caps and shirts, so be sure to check out the merchandise after you have loved on our pup.

DON'T FORGET

May Pet Holidays: Animal Disaster Preparedness.

Flower Tree Nursery will again be raffling a 20-gallon tree on June 15, and the winner doesn't have to be present. The raffle tickets are available at Flower Tree, and they are $1 for one ticket and $5 for six tickets.

CONTACT CAPS

CAPS' mailing address is P.O. Box 5128, Fallon, 89407. CAPS' phone number is 775-423-7500. CAPS' email address is caps@cccomm.net. Please visit the CAPS website (www.capsnevada.com) and Facebook page (Churchill Animal Protection Society). Be sure to "Like" CAPS on Facebook because we are really likable.

CAPS is open to the public on Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Do you have questions, comments or a great story? Contact me, jkwmil@outlook.com.

Kathleen Williams-Miller, is a CAPS volunteer.