Horry County first responders train to care for injured public safety dogs

Published: Mar. 13, 2023 at 7:22 PM EDT
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HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WMBF) - Horry County Public Safety participated in training to better help special members of the department; their public safety dogs.

Part of that training involved first responders working at the Horry County Animal Care Center and learning how to take care of the dogs if they ever get injured on the job.

WMBF News was not allowed to be a part of that training for security reasons.

Both Horry County Fire Rescue and Police Department have specific dogs that assist them in investigations and calls of service.

The county has a total of thirteen dogs and officials say what makes them so special is their accuracy and speed.

Crosby is a certified arson K9 with Horry County Fire Rescue. His partner Captain Matthew Rice says there are only a total of seven dogs and Accelerant Detection teams like them across the state of South Carolina.

He said, “He looks for ignitable liquids, like gasoline, kerosene, diesel, lighter fluid. He helps us find those scents on a fire scene post-fire to help us prove arson or disprove it.”

Pepper is Horry County Police Department’s Sergeant Justin Miller’s K9 partner. Although new to the agency, Miller says she is a key tool in solving crime and bringing criminals to justice.

Pepper assists police with missing persons or locating a suspect. She uses her sense of smell to track down the needed people.

“They think it’s a game the whole time, they don’t know whether they’re looking for a kid or somebody who just committed a homicide. They don’t know the difference, it’s just a big game to them,” Miller said.