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Working Dog Center Press Releases

New Graduates of the Penn Vet Working Dog Center Aid SEPTA Police Force, Search and Rescue Teams

By Ashley Berke Published: Feb 20, 2015

[February 20, 2015; Philadelphia, PA] – A new group of canine graduates from the Penn Vet Working Dog Center has officially entered the workforce, using scent-detection skills to aid in public safety. Graduates include:

  • Quest, a one-year-old German Shepherd: patrol and explosives detection dog for SEPTA
  • Logan, a one-year-old German Shepherd: patrol and explosives detection dog for SEPTA
  • Felony, a one-year-old Dutch Shepherd: urban search and rescue dog for New Mexico Task Force One
  • Jake, a two-year-old yellow Labrador Retriever: urban search and rescue dog currently training to join the New Jersey Task Force One
  • Pacy, a two-year-old black Labrador Retriever: human remains detection dog for Pennsylvania Task Force One and Lambertville-New Hope Rescue Squad

Following graduation, the Center will track each dog’s progress with annual behavior and performance reports from the organizations and individuals that purchase them. This information will help Dr. Cindy Otto, Executive Director of the Working Dog Center, assess what factors influence the breeding and training of successful working dogs.

“At the Working Dog Center, we produce the dogs and the data,” said Otto. “It is critical that we obtain more knowledge to ensure optimal health and performance of these amazing dogs who benefit society in so many ways. We are incredibly proud of our graduates and look forward to watching them excel in their new careers.”

About Quest and Logan

QuestQuest and Logan followed in the footsteps of Working Dog Center alums Ronnie and Kaiserin, who joined SEPTA’s Police K9 Unit one year ago. 

Both dogs will participate in SEPTA’s patrol school and explosives training class before entering the field.

“We’re proud to have two more Penn graduates join our K-9 team,” said SEPTA Police Chief Thomas Nestel. “The extensive training Quest and Logan received from the Working Dog Center is a tremendous help as we further prepare the dogs to protect and service our passengers.”

LoganQuest, born on December 7, 2013, was donated to the Center by BJF Working Dogs. He is named in honor of Quest Sullivan, who deployed to the World Trade Center following the attacks on 9/11.

Logan, born on December 7, 2013, was donated to the Center by Watcher Engel K9. He is named in honor of Logan DeLuca, who deployed to the World Trade Center following the attacks on 9/11.

About Felony and Jake

FelonyIn their new roles, Felony and Jake will respond to disasters and help locate and extract survivors who are trapped or entombed in collapsed structures or confined areas.

During their training, Felony and Jake built the confidence to search and find targets in a variety of environments, including buildings, vehicles, a giant rubble pile, and an array of outdoor areas. As urban search and rescue dogs, they will rely heavily on their noses to hunt, while staying focused on their task without distraction.

JakeFelony, born on January 6, 2014, was donated to the Center by Vrijheid Kennels. She is named in honor of Felony Gettel, who deployed to the World Trade Center following the attacks on 9/11.  

Jake, born on December 9, 2012, was donated to the Center by D&S Retrievers. He is named in honor of Jake Flood, who deployed to the World Trade Center following the attacks on 9/11.

About Pacy

PacyIn her new role, Pacy will respond to disasters and local missing persons calls. She will help law enforcement and rescue teams locate the deceased, searching areas such as collapsed structures, wooded areas, crime scenes, and bodies of water. Her work will help provide closure for families who have lost loved ones.

During her training, Pacy learned to systematically search and locate a complex range of scents while ignoring all other odors and distractions. 

Pacy, born on March 30, 2013, was donated to the Center by Maranatha Farm Kennels. She is named in honor of Pacy Marshall, who deployed to the Pentagon following the attacks on 9/11.

About the Penn Vet Working Dog Center

Opened on September 11, 2012, the Penn Vet Working Dog Center is the nation’s premier research and educational facility dedicated to harnessing the unique strengths of our canine partners and producing an elite group of scent-detection dogs for public safety and health. Dogs in the program are named in honor of individuals who lost their lives on 9/11 and canine heroes who served following the attacks. For more information, visit www.pennvetwdc.org.

Other graduates of the Working Dog Center include: 

  • Socks (yellow Labrador Retriever), the first canine cadet (explosives detection dog) to join the Penn Police
  • Ronnie (German Shepherd), patrol and explosives detection dog for SEPTA
  • Kaiserin (Dutch Shepherd), patrol and explosives detection dog for SEPTA
  • Bretagne (Golden Retriever), diabetes alert dog
  • Morgan (yellow Labrador Retriever), narcotics detection dog for the New Jersey State Police Narcotic Detection K9 Unit
  • Thunder (chocolate Labrador Retriever), search and rescue dog for New Jersey Task Force One

Working Dog Center