GULFPORT, Miss. (WLOX) - While Gulfport Fire Department continues to investigate how the old Green Thumb Nursery caught fire on Friday, they are wrapping up another investigation thanks to the help the department’s four-legged firefighter.
Toggle is one special dog. While many pups have excellent noses, Toggle puts hers to use for the Gulfport Fire Department. In fact, her help was crucial just last week.
“In the Virginia Avenue Fire that occurred on (June) 17th, we ran our arson detection dog - our accelerant detector dog - Toggle through that fire, and she hit on accelerants used in that fire,” said Gulfport Fire Chief Michael Beyerstedt.
Toggle’s discovery got the ball rolling, and Gulfport police were able to make an arrest in the case Monday, something that may not have been possible without the fire fighting canine.
“It is a tremendous asset. It is a partnership we have with State Farm. They are the ones who got us the grant to help us get the dog. Toggle was the first one who let us know that there was accelerants used on that property,” said Chief Beyerstedt.
As far as how the pup communicates with her human counterparts, it’s simple.
“It is just the way they are trained. That way, there is no way of missing or misunderstanding what is going on. When she sits like that, she is not going to move until you yank her off of it. So, there are no errors," said Chief Beyerstedt.
It is no wonder why as she receives a treat every time she finds a fire accelerant. The friendly pup is adored on Facebook, and even has her own training card. She is one of 100 certified accelerant detecting canines in service in all of North America.