Task Force: California Task Force 7 (CA-TF7)
Agency: Sacramento Fire
Level: DHS/FEMA Certified
Most Recent Certification: October 28, 2018
Search Dog Info
Breed: Yellow Lab
Born: September 30, 2015
Recruited from: Second Chance Pups in Lincoln, NE
Recruited by: Sheila Stern
Named by: Grace Ford Salvatori Foundation
Named in Memory of: Hank Salvatori
Hank began SDF’s training program in May of 2017. His potential was spotted by Sheila Stern, an SDF Canine Recruiter who has been identifying dogs with career potential in different disciplines for many years. She discovered Hank at Second Chance Pups, an organization based in Lincoln, Nebraska, that selects dogs from surrounding area shelters and rescues to be trained in basic obedience by inmates at Nebraska State Penitentiary. The dogs learn to become household pets less likely to be returned to the shelter system, and the inmates get to learn a skill and give back to society.
Sheila learned that Hank had in fact been one of those dogs cycled in and out of shelters, adopted only to be returned again because his energy was too over the top for the average pet owner to handle. Sheila told us early on, “He will do excited barking, chew up or drag around anything he can get his mouth on…he is a fun-loving bundle of energy. He is a big lug that you can’t help but like.” But those characteristics that make these dogs so difficult for most owners is exactly what makes them wonderful Search Dogs!
Hank spent six months with SDF’s training staff at our National Training Center before being paired with Sacramento firefighter/paramedic Vincent Fuccella on November 3, 2017. As members of California Task Force 7, the new team will train daily in preparation for Certification with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), which will enable them to deploy when disaster strikes. Good luck Hank and Vinnie!