KFD arson dog in running for national award

KFD arson dog in running for national award

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Bailey the arson dog is a nominee for the American Humane Associations Hero Dog Award. Bailey the arson dog is a nominee for the American Humane Associations Hero Dog Award.

By DREW GARDNER
6 News Reporter     

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - The Knoxville Fire Department's most loyal four-legged employee is up for a big honor.

Bailey the arson dog is a nominee for the American Humane Associations Hero Dog Award.

"She never takes a sick day," said the dog's handler, Travis Kincaid. "She's never too tired to work. The weather is never too bad. It doesn't matter if it's snowing or 100 degrees outside she's ready and willing to go."

Bailey has been a K-9 arson investigator for five years.

Kincaid has been working side-by-side with her since she started on the department.

She's trained to detect every kind accelerant used to start fires, from gasoline to lighter fluid.

"We take Bailey and we let her go in there and she will search with her nose and she will find places where accelerant might have been," said Kincaid.

When she finds a trace of accelerant, she will sit down and alert Kincaid, shaving sometimes hours off an investigation.

"When we take samples, it's just blind samples based on intuition or where we think somebody might have done something," said Kincaid. "With her, she takes the guess work out of it and goes right to the source."

Without Bailey, Kincaid says it would be much harder to combat arsons which would have detrimental effects on the community.

"Arson is a crime that affects everybody," said Kincaid. "Even if you're not directly touched by it, you are indirectly touched by it because you have fraudulent insurance claims and that adds up to millions, if not billions, of dollars a year nationwide. And dogs like Bailey help us combat that and saves us all with lower rates."

Bailey has already helped investigate more than 150 cases and will likely work on hundreds more in the years to come.

The first round of voting goes from now until June 6.

You can vote for Bailey online at the Hero Dog Awards website.

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