Los Angeles County Urban Search and Rescue Task force dog Pearl becomes the star of a new book, “A New Job for Pearl.” The book was written by teaching volunteer Allyn Lee and is illustrated by Connie Forslind’s second grade students at Rancho Romero Elementary.
Pearl, a 3-year-old Labrador retriever, was a rescue dog originally from the Plumas County Animal Services after she ran away from her home several times. She was transferred to the High Sierra Animal Rescue in Portola. After seeing Pearl’s drive and energy, she was deemed a candidate for search and rescue. High Sierra Animal Rescue brought in the National Disaster Search Dog Foundation, a nonprofit, non-governmental organization based in Ojai, CA, dedicated to recruiting rescued dogs and partnering them with firefighters and other first responders to find people buried in the wreckage of disasters.
Fire Dept. Capt. Ron Horetski and Pearl relaxing at home.
Photo Courtesy of LA County Fire Dept.
In July of 2008 after completing her formal dog search training, Pearl was assigned to her handler; Topanga-based L. A. County Fire Captain Ron Horetski. After the earthquake struck Haiti, Pearl, along with other dogs of the search and rescue team, was put into action. Pearl helped volunteers locate and save survivors who were trapped under rubble after the earthquake devastated Haiti. Of the 70 people rescued in Haiti, search dogs located 36.
Allyn picked Pearl as the protagonist for her book because she wanted to show Pearl’s achievements in Haiti but to also to highlight the fact that a shelter animal, who could have easily been euthanized, now serves to rescue humans.
Photo Courtesy of LA County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky.
The class hopes to raise $10,000 from sales of the $10 book to cover the costs of training another rescue dog. So far they have raised around $6,000 since the book was published in early May. For phone orders, call 925.588.8180.
A special thanks to to Los Angeles County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky for turning me on to this story through his Weekly Web Flash and Blog.
For Other Shelter Dog Success Stories:
West Los Angeles: Shelter Dog’s success story becomes therapy patients success
Don’t forget to check out cakechow.com’s Spring Fling adoption drive!