They served their communities for nearly twenty years combined, and now they go out on top. This month, Kilo, a drug detection dog with the Alaska State Troopers, and Lila, an Arson Dog with Portland Fire & Rescue, reached their mandatory retirement ages and finished their service with aplomb.
Kilo, a German Shepherd, began his career at 18 months old in 2005. He helped the Alaska State Troopers seize 122 kilos of marijuana, seven kilos of methamphetamines, 16 kilos of heroin, 19.5 kilos of cocaine and $1.8 million in cash and property from illegal drug operations. One of his former partners, Alaskan Investigator Vance Peronto, warmly recalled his impeccable sniffin’ skill: “He would bee-line directly to the suspicious parcel, alert, and immediately indicated. As if to tell me ‘Was this supposed to be hard?”
Lila, a black Lab, started young – she was eight weeks old when she began a guide dog training program in Texas. In 2008, she moved into the Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosive (ATF&E) Accelerant Canine Detection Team Program (ACDT), where she worked for seven years. As a member of the ACDT, she specialized in sniffing out trace elements of combustible substances to help determine the cause of fires. In her career, she went as far north as Washington state and as far south as Phoenix, Arizona, and investigated all range of arson cases, from car fires to large commercial building fires.
At Kilo’s farewell party, he got to lap up his favorite treat – ice cream. Lila received a new dog bed adorned with fire bureau patches. A food reward dog, Lila has received her every meal by hand, as positive reinforcement for a good day’s work. To celebrate her retirement, Lila’s partner and caretaker, Lt. Fabian Jackson, presented her with a huge bowl of food, which she happily chowed down.
To Kilo, Lila, and all the other dogs sniffing out trouble and protecting the public, we thank you for your service!