American Humane Hero Dog Awards - 2017 Finalists
Luca — Search and Rescue
Charity Partner: American Rescue Dog Association
Location: Grand Prairie, Texas
On April 15, 2016, Fort Worth Police were dispatched to locate a missing endangered male. Two elderly men visited a large salvage yard when one suddenly realized that his elderly friend with Alzheimer’s was missing. After a brief search, he realized he needed help and called police. Many officers responded due to the age and medical condition of the missing man. After an extensive search, Sgt Medrano asked Officer Brock if Luca would be of any help. Luca is Officer Brock’s retired SAR German Shepherd who was 10 years old at the time of this call. Luca excelled in area, water, avalanche and forest/desert searches. Officer Brock believed Luca excelled in this because it meant a helicopter ride that Luca loved. Officer Brock picked Luca up from his home and Luca fell back into his training and used his SAR skills to search for the missing man. Luca alerted at an opening of brush at the Trinity River which lead to a very steep hill followed by a steep drop off. Due to terrain, a PD helicopter responded and immediately observed the lost man in the river, stuck in waist high mud on the opposite bank of the river where Luca alerted. Officers shed their gear, swam across the river, rescued the man and brought him to safety. Had Luca not tracked the man’s trail and located him, the man would have drowned in the river which still had very cold, high, fast paced water or would have succumbed to the temperature. Luca’s love and dedication to SAR shows the resilience of older dogs and how training doesn’t go away just because they retire.