KENT COUNTY - Kent County Deputy Dale Dekorte met his partner Ritzy just four years ago, but now, she is a part of his family.
Arson dogs from across the U.S. and Canada met up in Kent County to get re-certified. The program is put on by State Farm Insurance Agency each year, but this is the first time it happened in Michigan.
There are only three arson dog teams in Michigan, but State Farm representative Heather Paul said they hope to continue expanding. There are 97 other teams throughout the country and Canada.
Thirty of those teams gathered at the Kent County Sheriff gun range to get re-certified in arson detection. Paul said these dogs have successfully brought down arson rates in the cities they are located.
Paul said these dogs live, work and even retire with their law enforcement officers. She said each dog, with training and other fees factored in, cost an estimated $25,000.
To learn more about the program visit their website.
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