After eight years with the Office of the State Fire Marshal, Kachina, one of Maryland’s most beloved arson detection dogs, is retiring. The ten-year-old black lab is one of four Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) trained dogs within the agency. She was the most senior canine among the 62 teams across the United States. She and her partner, Master Deputy State Fire Marshal Oliver Alkire, have assisted in over 600 cases in their time together throughout Maryland, Delaware, and Pennsylvania. During her career, Kachina has responded to or trained in every Maryland county and Baltimore City, an accomplishment that few K9s have experienced and a testament to her drive and dedication to everyone in Maryland. Kachina was initially trained as a guide dog to aid the visually impaired by the Guiding Eyes for the Blind. However, her drive was recognized to be better suited as a working dog. At age 2, she was procured by the ATF to begin her training in arson prevention. Kachina is trained to sniff out accelerants used to start a fire. Her heightened sense of smell helps investigators find clues that might have otherwise gone overlooked, and her “nose that knows” led […]
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