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September 02, 2017

[Photo: National Disaster Search Dog Foundation]

Rocket is definitely a high energy dog – in fact, back in 2012, Rocket was facing euthanasia because he was having trouble finding an adoptive family. After being selected for a second chance by the Windsor Fire Protection District in California, Rocket is now ‘paws on the ground’ in Texas aiding search and rescue teams in the wake of hurricane Harvey.

According to the Sacramento SPCA, Rocket was dubbed far too “hyper and obsessive” to be adopted by a forever family and he was added to the kill list at a regional shelter. Luckily, a representative for the Search Dog Foundation recognized that Rocket’s high energy personality would be a tremendous asset to a search team due to the long hours of work expected from rescue animals.

After entering the training program, Rocket was paired with his trainer Mike Stornetta. The high energy duo received their FEMA certification, and they are now actively assisting in Texas search efforts. This is the second major deployment for Mike and Rocket. Their first time out, the pair was part of California Task Force 4 and helped search for survivors after a plane crash in Santa Rosa.

Mike and Rocket are one of 15 dog and handler teams trained by the Search Dog Foundation currently assisting in hurricane Harvey rescue efforts. According to an SDF representative, Rocket’s “hyper” personality translates into drive and tenacity that helps him find survivors.

In a recent Facebook post, the Windsor Fire Protection District sent out an encouraging message to Mike and Rocket: “Mike and Rocket are trained in finding live victims during disasters. They have trained together for several years in order to be prepared for just such a disaster, they are ready and willing and we know they will do an awesome job! Stay safe Mike and Rocket.”