Memphis Animal Services partnership could help save lives

(WMC-TV) - Memphis Animal Services is partnering with a search and rescue group that promises to save several dogs each year at the shelter.

A dog's sharp senses and spirit are talents humans cannot emulate.  With the right training, dogs can save lives.

"What the dog can do is that dog senses where the people are," said Deputy Chief Michael Putt with Tennessee Task Force One.

Putt is looking for new canine recruits.

"Right now we have about 20 dogs," said Putt.

Putt will now have his pick at the Memphis Animal Shelter.  Tennessee Task Force One is teaming up with the shelter to adopt dogs that can be trained for search and rescue missions.

"The number of dogs is going to greatly depend on the need across the nation," said Putt.

Memphis is known for producing successful recruits, but not every breed is suited for the task.

"There are German Shepherds out there," said Putt.  "We've even got one team with a poodle."

The number of dogs selected will likely be a small fraction of the 16,000 animals that wind up at the Memphis Animal Shelter.

Because Memphis is well known for producing great canines, Putt said dogs rescued from the shelter could go on to rescue humans all over the country.

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