4 Easy Ways to Help Pets and Animals
Dogs and Their People Who Save Lives
We love our pets, but Lee Haus's dog, Brutus, is more than a pet -- he is her partner. Together, they are an emergency response team with Los Angeles' search and rescue task force. When disaster strikes anywhere in the United States, Lee, Brutus, and their colleagues calmly move in, focused on saving lives.
Brutus came to Lee from the Search Dog Foundation, a nonprofit group that provides the country's most highly trained search dogs, and partners them with firefighters and other first responders. SDF's extraordinary dogs and handlers participated in recovery efforts at the World Trade Center site following the September 11 attacks. They also worked in the areas hit by Hurricanes Ike, Gustav, Katrina, and Rita, as well as other disaster sites. Most of SDF's rescue dogs were rescued themselves. Abused or abandoned, the dogs are taken in by SDF, which trains them and takes care of them for life. When dogs cannot search anymore due to age or injury, they remain with their handlers or SDF finds good homes for them.
For Lee the best part of the job is watching Brutus search. "It's amazing how he figures it out, no matter how deep he needs to dig or how many distractions there are around him. He'll run, stop, turn, and then go to work." Lee described their experience in Louisiana following Hurricane Rita: "We were searching a part of the New Orleans Parish that had flooded up to the eaves of the houses. Our mission was to go house to house and search for survivors. It was 101 degrees with 85 percent humidity, and we were searching eight hours a day. There was mud everywhere -- in some places, up to our thighs. The houses were full of debris and furniture was toppled everywhere. We kicked, crawled, slipped, and pushed our way into each house. Our dogs worked like champs, always willing. It was great to put all my training with my pup to work." What will happen when Brutus retires? Lee says, "We'll be together. We're a team." For life.
You can help abandoned animals by donating free food for them: Visit TheAnimalRescueSite.com.