PETAL, Miss. (WDAM) - The Petal Fire Department is looking to continue training a valued four-legged member of its team. Meet Marley.
"She is a pet, but she is my working partner," said PFD Battalion Chief Carlton Sims.
She may seem like your average 2-year-old poodle, but she is, in fact, an official member of the Petal Fire Department.
“She was sworn in by the City of Petal on Jan. 15, 2019, as a cadaver dog. She started her training when she was about 6 months old,” said Sims.
Working dogs, such as Marley, help with different types of rescues and are trained to have a keen sense of smell. Some can smell up to 15 feet underground, 30 meters underwater, and sometimes, a bone or a drop of blood is all they’re looking for.
“It’s not just teach a dog how to sit, teach a dog how to lay. We use German commands with her. She is on blood. She is on bone fragments. We hide stuff we put in the trees. She’ll be able to track that scent in order to find it, and once she finds it, she knows she’ll get a reward,” said Sims.
The Petal Fire Department Benevolent Association is working to further Marley's training. They just need a little bit of help from the community.
“We’re looking at about $12,500. That should complete her training. It’ll be paid before she’s certified. Out of pocket now, we’ve spent about $5,000,” said Sims. Marley is the first K-9 member of the Petal Fire Department.
If you would like to contribute to Marley’s training, the fire department is taking donations. You can call Petal Fire Station #1 at 601-705-0908 or donate here.