For the men and women who work in these departments, these dogs are a lot of things: both beloved pets and co-workers. They come to mean a lot.
So when one former fire dog had to be put down, his human colleagues got together to give him a beautiful send-off, honoring his years of service.
For years, a dog named Quincy was a key part of the Clearwater Fire & Rescue Department.
Not only did he find a forever home, he found his destiny: it soon became clear that Quincy had the right temperament to be in the fire department. The previous arson dog had just retired, so Quincy underwent six months of accelerant-detection training to take up the job.
He was invaluable in sniffing out the causes behind fires. “He’s another tool in our toolbox that we use to determine the cause of a fire,” Neuberger said. “For Quincy, it only takes minutes. Sometimes, seconds.”
Quincy served as an arson dog for ten years before retiring in 2018. He worked about 300 calls during his career.
Sadly, Quincy started facing serious health issues. At 12-years-old, it became clear that he was terminally ill and would need to be put down.
But first, this hero dog would get one last visit from his former co-workers: shortly before he was set to be euthanized, over a dozen firefighters showed up to pay their respects.
It was a sad day for everyone. You can see tears in the firefighters’ faces as they pet and say goodbye to Quincy.
But the most emotional moment came when Quincy got his “last call.” The department arranged a dispatch call, like the hundreds Quincy heard during his career, only this time it was a special one just for him.
A voice over the radio touts his amazing career in the department, and then concludes: “Today, he will rest in peace.” You can hear crying in the background.
It's a sad day for our agency as we mourn the loss of Quincy, our arson dog who served the city for six years before retiring last year. He received a final radio call and hugs from our personnel. He had been suffering from serious health issues lately. Quincy was 12 years old and had been the companion and partner of former Fire Inspector Ron Neuberger since his early days as a rescue dog. Quincy worked about 300 calls during his fire service in Clearwater and Lealman, where he started in 2008. He worked all across the Tampa Bay area, using his powerful nose to help sniff out whether or not arson was a factor in fire scenes. Thank you for your service, Quincy, you will be missed!
Posted by Clearwater Fire & Rescue Department on Friday, September 6, 2019
It was a beautiful, fitting final tribute for a brave dog who dedicated his life to helping others. Quincy was put to sleep shortly after.
“RIP, Quincy,” Clearwater Fire & Rescue wrote on Facebook. “Enjoy all of those wonderful smells with that amazing nose of yours in your next chapter.”
It’s always heartbreaking when a dog is put down, but at least Quincy died surrounded by loved ones, and with a heartfelt tribute to his life. Share this beautiful story!