Homeless to Hero: Search Dog Demi Honored with Hero Award

On Friday, March 31st, Placer SPCA presented their alum, former shelter dog turned Search Dog Demi, and her handler Mike Toepfer, with the Hero Award, an honor given annually to people, animals, and/or groups that have gone above and beyond to demonstrate how strong the human-animal bond is.

Demi had been found wandering the streets alone and was picked-up by Placer SPCA in Roseville, CA in 2015. When no one came to claim the young Belgian Malinois, she was put up for adoption, which is when she was identified as a Search Dog candidate and brought to SDF’s National Training Center in Santa Paula, CA.

In January, Demi graduated from SDF’s training program and was partnered with Firefighter/Paramedic Mike Toepfer of the Los Angeles County Fire Department. As members of California Task Force 2, the new team has been busy preparing for their FEMA Certification Evaluation, which will enable them to deploy with their teammates when disasters strike to search for anyone trapped alive beneath the rubble.

Congratulations to Demi & Mike on receiving this honor, representing Canine Disaster Search Teams across the country who remind us daily just how strong the bond between Handler and Search Dog is, even in the face of disaster!

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