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Meet SFD's Arson Dog

Henny Retires
After 6 years on the job and more than 100 fire investigations, Henny the Seattle Fire Department “Arson Dog” has retired.  

Henny joined the Seattle Fire Department in 2006 as the Department’s first accelerant detection canine or “Arson Dog”.  Henny and her handler, Seattle Fire Department Captain Stephen Baer, graduated from the Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms Accelerant (ATF) Detection K-9 school.  Henny’s talents included detecting petroleum-based fuels in amounts that neither humans nor machines can smell. Her teamwork with Capt. Baer led to determining the cause for fires totaling tens of millions of dollars, as well as arrests of individuals responsible. 

In the spring of 2012, Henny retired from her daily job at Seattle Fire Department. Her current occupation is being a full-time companion for Captain Baer and his family.

Henny's Links

Henny's Homepage

Henny's Photo Gallery

The ATF's Accelerant Detection Canine Program
In 2006, Seattle Fire was offered a training spot in the Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosive's (ATF) Accelerant Detection Canine Program. Captain Stephen Baer of the Fire Investigation Unit returned from the five-week training course in Virginia in March, 2006, and with him was Henny, a female black lab. Henny is Seattle Fire Department's first accelerant canine, or "arson dog".

Henny's Story

Henny was born in December, 2004, with the purpose of being a guide dog for a blind person and she was raised by a family in Maryland.

Early on, the family had a feeling that Henny might not be cut out for leading a blind person. They reported that she was "Strong as an ox on the leash and loved to stop and sniff EVERYTHING!"

Stopping to sniff is not a problem for most dogs, but for a blind person trying to get to work on time, it is a problem. Henny was not selected as a guide dog but that loss was Seattle Fire Department's gain because she excels at sniffing out arson!

Arson Facts

Arson is the leading cause of fires (267,000 annually) in the United States and the second leading cause of deaths (475) and injuries (2,000). Arson causes $1.4 billion in property loss each year.

Seattle Fire Department has taken a big step towards improving arson investigation in Western Washington by acquiring Henny.

Arson Alarm Hotline

If you see any suspicious fire-related activity, call 9-1-1 immediately or if you have any information regarding an arson fire, call the Arson Alarm Hotline at 1-800-55-ARSON.


Last Modified:   October 15, 2012

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