Arson Dog Training Program prepares dogs to save lives

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — First in the nation, the Arson Dog Training Program started in Connecticut in 1986.

Once the flames are out, the dog can be brought in to sniff out if a fire is suspicious.

“Their value to the fire service and fire investigation since 1986 is just incredible,” said Detective Paul Makuc“Sometimes, this dog can be used to eliminate the possibility that accelerants were used, or to identify where the best possible spot to obtain a sample to be tested at the lab is.”

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Det. Makuc showed us how the dog works while on the scene.

“I’m going to start by searching the vehicle, kind of do an exterior search, then I’ll bring her into the car,” he explained.

“I’ll bring the dog through the car just to see if it has any interest in any of the areas inside the car,” he said. “Then I’ll run the dog over all the debris you brought outside of the car.”

The dogs are more than partners, they’re part of the family.

“She lives with me and my family,” said Det. Makuc. “I have a retired arson dog as well. You can’t really quantify how valuable they are.”

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