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Iowa Department of Public Safety
215 East 7th Street
Des Moines, Iowa 50319
www.dps.state.ia.us

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For immediate release:  
Friday, November 9, 2012  
Des Moines, Iowa  

STATE FIRE MARSHAL ADOPTS MILITARY EXPLOSIVE DETECTION CANINE

Des Moines, IOWA --- Today the Iowa Department of Public Safety welcomed its newest employee to the State Fire Marshal Division. Casey is a four year old, tan lab with expertise in explosive detection. She arrived in Iowa today from North Carolina. The free adoption was made possible under a special law enforcement adoption program offered by the State Department of Defense -- US Marine Corp, for canines that return from military deployments overseas. 

“These dogs are fully operational and highly trained to detect explosive scents.  Casey has completed one, seven-month tour in Afghanistan and we have become aware she has saved multiple soldiers’ lives because of her special skills in detecting IED's (improvised explosive devices),” says State Fire Marshal Ray Reynolds.  “As a combat veteran myself, I think this is a very special dog and we are thrilled to add another combat veteran to the ranks.” 

Casey and handler Rob Van Pelt

Casey is now the third canine used by the State Fire Marshal Division. Rocket is a seven year old yellow lab used to detect accelerant liquids during a fire investigation, and Kodi is a two year old Belgium Malinois currently being used to detect explosives.  During the Presidential election process, Kodi worked tirelessly to keep the candidates safe while in Iowa.  All of three canines are people-friendly dogs with a very important mission within the Department of Public Safety. 

Reynolds says, “These dogs are great ambassadors for the Department. When they're not protecting Presidents, working special events, or assisting in a fire investigation, they help us remind the public the importance of fire safety."

Fire Inspector Rob Van Pelt will be Casey's handler and has already become quite attached to her. It takes a special employee willing to take on the care, training, and late-night fire calls associated with a service dog.  It is a 24 hour job for them and their families at times.

If you would like more information about the State Fire Marshal canine program or would like to meet our canines, contact State Fire Marshal Ray Reynolds at 515-402-6538.

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