HOUSTON – A longtime canine arson investigator with the Harris County Fire Marshal’s Office has died, the agency announced Tuesday.
Hunter, a 90-pound chocolate Labrador Retriever, joined HCFMO in April 2000 as an accelerant detection canine. He was provided via a grant from State Farm Insurance and was one of only 140 government service accelerant detection canines nationwide.
Hunter investigated 464 fires with HCFMO and 33 other fire and police departments in the 13-county region. He was able to locate evidence that assisted investigators in arresting and convicting 147 arsonists. His accuracy was confirmed by two forensic laboratories with an 84 percent confirmation rate, according to the HCFMO.
Hunter had been featured on several local television stations and in February of 2007, he was profiled on ABC News’ “Good Morning America”.
“Hunter was a part of our family. His loyalty and long service to our agency is immeasurable. His ability to “stop drop and roll” and “get low and go” taught many children in our community in a way that engaged interest outside of a normal classroom setting,” said Harris County Fire Marshal Mike Montgomery via email. “Hunter touched a lot of lives and truly made a difference.”