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Rocket is our September 17 2017 Pup of the Week

Harvey has been a time for hero rescuers, and a few of the rescuers who saved people had been saved themselves,  not by Joel Osteen, but by people willing to get their hands and paws dirty.  
This is the story of a hero dog, with black and white coloring and cute freckles on his snout,  named Rocket.  He is a border collie mix who got extra doses of border collie energy.  That power betrayed him, and the dog who loved to run and play found himself in a cage at a Sacramento shelter with his name on a kill list and his ticket to the Bridge punched.
Luckily someone recognized that Rocket’s obsessive behavior could make him an excellent search and rescue dog.  
Rocket was removed from death row and trained in search and rescue by the Search Dog Foundation based in Southern California who looks for dogs in kill shelters to train for rescue operations.  He happily showed off all he had learned when he was tested to become a member of the team.  He promptly failed.
But Rocket must have had his own angels looking after him because a volunteer still believed in Rocket and gave him special lessons.  Given another second chance Rocket passed the test and joined the team.  
Rocket was given a human partner, firefighter Mike Stornetta from Windsor, California.  Rocket got his first taste at saving people when there was a plane crash in Northern California in 2016, two years after he joined the squad.  He proved himself to be a valuable member of the team.  
Denise Sander, the communication officer for the Search Dog Foundation says to dogs like Rocket it isn’t work, but a big game of find the human, and Rocket excels at it.  
That is why he along with 11 other rescued dogs, have been in Texas working to save people affected by Hurricane Harvey.  Two of them were Jester, who was, as a puppy surrendered because he regularly jumped the fence, and is now a FEMA-certified search dog, and Java, a plott hound mix.
Now these dogs, rescued from death row, are saving humans from death.
We have all, in a way, been rescued from an uncertain existence by our families, and we have all, in our way, rescued them.
But some of us have much more dramatic stories.


  1. It costs 10,000 to fully train the dogs - so I have been very blessed to be able to sponsor a couple of dogs from the sales of my books. It's pretty cool - I've been invited to watch them train and got photos of one of my sponsored dogs working in Nepal after the earthquake. I still donate most of the book sales to multiple animal rescues, but as long as I still have a "day job" I'll continue to sponsor the Search Foundation dogs.

  2. That's a wonderful story! Just think of all the valuable dogs sent to the bridge because they were in the wrong situation. We're so happy those pups were saved. And so are the people they save.

  3. So thankful these pups were saved so they could do this wonderful work
    Hazel & Mabel

  4. Love this story... and we humans should think twice before we send a dog (or cat) to the death row...

  5. We love to read about dogs who have too much energy to be good pets find a job to keep them happy.

  6. That was a great story! Hooray for Rocket and his friends!

  7. We are sure happy the Rocket got a chance to be a hero for others!

  8. I love this post! Hurray for Rocket! His story is definitely one about never giving up. So glad he was saved so that he could save others.


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