Energetic Shelter Dog Saved from Euthanization Now Helping in Houston

Posted by Mateja Lane

WATCH NOW: Rocket the Dog Goes from Death Row to Search and Rescue Team

It’s been a long road for Rocket. 

Rocket has energy. The border collie mix found himself in a Sacramento shelter five years ago, and once his adoption window had closed he was put on the euthanasia list. Luckily, he was recommended as a search-and-rescue dog in 2012 and finally found a place where he could shine.

“I think it’s just a testament that … just because an animal ends up in the shelter doesn’t mean that they are an animal that someone doesn’t want or that they don’t have a lot to give to the community,” Dawn Foster of the Sacramento Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals told Sacramento Bee.

The Sacramento SPCA saw Rocket’s potential with his “instinct to want to do jobs, that … like to play with toys and solve problems.” This innate desire to help landed Rocket with one of the most important jobs:

Helping find and rescue people left in the wake of Hurricane Harvey. 

K9 Rocket stretched out while being rewarded for finding a buried live victim. CA-TF4 participated in a joint training with FEMA's California Task Force 3 and TF7 at the @searchdogfoundation Training Center in Santa Paula this past weekend. All the dogs and handlers that participated did great! Thank you to SDF's Master Trainer Sonja for making sure our dogs (and maybe the handlers) were on point!!! #catf4 #searchandrescue #workingdogsofig #workingdogsofinstagram #rescuedogsofinstagram #rescuedismyfavoritebreed #rescuetorescuer #dogs #dogsofinstgram #dogsofinstagram #dogsofig #muttsofinstagram #mutt #mutts #muttsofig #searchdog #firedog #k9training #k9unit #k9team #k9 #shelterdog #shelterdogsrock #search #rescuedog

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Rocket got paired with the National Disaster Search Dog Foundation and initially failed the assessment test. But the recruiter kept coming back to the little black and white dog. Rocket may have failed the test but there was something about him and the recruiter couldn’t bear to see the dog go back to the shelter. She ended up adopting Rocket.

The recruiter and her husband took Rocket along on search and rescue missions and Rocket finally passed his test in 2013. He was officially assigned to Michael Stornetta in 2015 and eventually became certified with an Oakland-based Federal Emergency Management Agency task force.

Soon it was Rocket’s time to really show his potential and the task force was recently deployed to Texas to help with in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey.

"I’m so glad that Mike and Rocket are able to respond to those in need (in Texas)! It is truly amazing to see how far…

Posted by National Disaster Search Dog Foundation on Monday, August 28, 2017

Rocket and 14 other search dogs are currently looking for survivors of the flood under rubble making sure there is no one left behind.

Denise Sanders, spokesperson for the National Disaster Search Dog Foundation said she loves seeing dogs like Rocket come from hopeless situations to become the heroes they are. Rocket’s story is hardly the last for the foundation. She said;

“We know that there are many more like Rocket out there just waiting to be found.” 

Thank you for your service, Rocket! Stay safe out there everyone.

Tell us what you think of Rocket’s incredible story in the comments below!

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Energetic Shelter Dog Saved from Euthanization Now Helping in Houston