Rocket, the dog scheduled to be euthanized, now saving lives in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey.

 Himanshi Shah's avatar

Himanshi Shah

Himanshi lives in a Cyberpunk universe inside her head. When she's outside it, she wanders around the streets of the world, in search of the next furry animal to cuddle. When not designing or writing, she's out and about taking photographs of abandoned places and interesting faces.

Some animal shelters choose to euthanize healthy animals when they find it extremely difficult to get them adopted for one reason or another. Rocket - a beautiful collie mix who was formerly living at an animal shelter in Sacramento, would have met the same fate if it wasn’t for his adopters.

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Back in 2012, Rocket was deemed unadoptable due to being “overly energetic” and was put on the euthanasia list. However, these past few days, Rocket has been tirelessly working with California’s Windsor Fire Protection District in the search and rescue missions in Texas, around areas that have been severely affected by Hurricane Harvey.

So, how did rocket escape his dark fate and instead ended up helping humans? Well, the people working at his animal shelter thought that instead of putting Rocket to sleep, he could constructively use his energy as a search dog. The volunteers reached out to the National Disaster Search Dog Foundation to check whether rocket was suited for the job.

It was decided that Rocket would appear for the search dog test. He failed the test, but his energy won the heart of the examiner who tested him. She couldn’t get him out of her mind and she did not want him to be euthanized. She and her husband decided to adopt him. They trained him for about a year, after which he appeared for the test again and passed it, making him an official Search and Rescue dog.

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Rocket was paired with fireman Mike Stornetta for training in Windsor, California.

National Disaster Search Dog Foundation have placed 14 pairs of humans and dogs in Texas, in order to locate people who are trapped during the disaster. Mike & Rocket are one of those brave pairs.

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It’s incredible how things workout. Rocket has now found his calling and found a great way to redirect all that extra energy.