Maryland K9 rescued from animal shelter hours before being euthanized – NBC4 Washington

Boomer is one of the newest and kindest first responders in Prince George’s County, Maryland.

The two-year-old German Shepherd had a circuitous path to public service. Before joining the Prince George’s County Fire Department, he was at a shelter in Anne Arundel County, where things almost ended for him.

“He was a rescue pound and is scheduled to be euthanized likely within hours,” said Cpl. Andrew Cummings of the Prince George’s County Police Department.

That was about three months ago. Anne Arundel County Police saw something special in Boomer and thought he would make a good addition to their K9 unit. But the department couldn’t find a place for him — so they called their friends in one county, in Prince George’s.

At the Prince George’s County Fire Department, Boomer got a new lease — or leash — for life.

“Being able to add another resource to our department to accomplish our mission… when Anne Arundel contacted and donated the dog, we were excited,” Prince George’s County Fire Chief Tiffany Green said.

Boomer underwent weeks of bomb detection training, with routines such as putting him in a dumpster full of plastic bottles to acclimatize to the noise and movement, and teaching him how to “alert” or how to sit down when he detected explosive materials.

“He basically went from a breeding dog that wasn’t very social to a working dog,” Cummings said. “As you can see, he can be around people, he’s very social, and he’s just a good working dog.”

Boomer is also an important addition to the Prince George’s County Bomb Detection Unit.

The tradition of dogs and firefighting goes back to the days when fire engines were drawn by horses. Dalmatians will help keep the horses calm, and guide the horses down the street, clearing the way for them.

This has changed, technology has changed, but there is still a place for canines.

“We will use it for suspicious package calls, post-explosion investigations, and special events in the county,” a department spokesperson told News4.

Prince George’s County is one of dozens of jurisdictions where the bomb squad operates under the auspices of the fire marshal.

K9 handlers are police officers, and Boomer will return home with his handler to become part of a pack of four other dogs. At work, he’s already part of an adopted family of first responders — a far cry from euthanasia.

“He’s excited to work every day and is living life to the fullest now,” Cummings said.

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