New arson dog joins the Illinois State Fire Marshall arson team - – Rockford’s News Leader

New arson dog joins the Illinois State Fire Marshall arson team


The Illinois State Fire Marshall's Office welcomes its newest four-legged member of the Arson Investigation team.

Meet Dollar the dog, Ken Arnold's right hand girl, as he investigates suspicious fires in Illinois. The dynamic duo just finished a 5-week training school...Preparing dollar for her first job.

"You want a dog that has a lot of drive, has a lot of work drive, likes to eat," says Ken Arnold, State Fire Marshall's Office Arson Inspector. "They need to be ready to go to work all the time, and she definitely possesses those qualities."

Ken works with Dollar constantly, even feeding her every piece of food from his hand, as a training and reward technique.

"We don't have fires luckily every day, so everyday Dollar has to train in order for me to feed her," says Arnold. "It's a 7 days a week, 24 hours a day process. There's no time that we're off where she gets something to eat without smelling the product."

The product is a chemical Ken uses to train Dollar. It helps her find real chemicals arsonists use to start fires. The Rockford Fire Department is thrilled to welcome the new canine.

Matthew Knott- division chief of Rockford fire department

"We look at all the tools in our toolbox, and the arson canine is just another tool in our toolbox that we have the ability to call, again through the State Fire Marshall's Office, to come and assist us," says Rockford Fire Department Division Chief, Matthew Knott. "If we have a large area that we need to search quickly, it helps us really narrow down to the areas that we need to focus our attention on."

The Illinois Fire Marshall's Office has been using arson dogs since 1999. They help more than a 1,000 fire departments in the state.

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