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A former shelter dog, once deemed unadoptable and slated for euthanasia, is now assisting his heroic handler in search and rescue efforts in Texas.
Several years ago, Rocket was a stray dog in Sacramento, California. Plucked from the streets and sent to an animal shelter, the energetic 1-year old Border Collie mix was deemed unadoptable and placed on the shelter’s euthanasia list.
Rocket was considered “too energetic” with an obsessive personality that made him unsuitable for most homes. But, that obsession is exactly what attracted the attention of the National Disaster Search Dog Foundation.
Despite failing initial tests to determine if he would be suitable for search & rescue, volunteer Andrea Bergquist believed Rocket’s endless energy and drive could be harnessed for the greater good and she adopted him, reports CBS News.
In 2013, Rocket was re-tested and passed with flying colors. The stray dog that no one wanted, that almost lost his life, would now be saving others.
In 2014, Rocket was partnered with firefighter K9 handler, Mike Stornetta. Together, the pair earned their FEMA certification and were deployed to assist in search & rescue efforts following a 2016 plane crash.
Today, the pair are in Texas assisting in search and rescue efforts of those affected by Hurricane Harvey.
“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,” Sacramento SPCA spokeswoman, Dawn Foster, told The Sacramento Bee.