PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Patty, a black Goldador (that’s a mix between a Labrador and a golden retriever), is incredibly cute, that’s for sure. But she is so rare, there are only four dogs like her in the state of Pennsylvania.
Some people say she has super powers and it’s all because of her nose.
“Her nose is 44 times more powerful than ours,” says her handler, Captain Dave Seidl with the Beaver Falls Fire Department.
Patty is a full-time police K-9 officer and a member of the Beaver Falls Fire Department. She works as an arson dog, covering all of western Pennsylvania when needed. It’s her job to sniff out accelerants when investigators believe arson may be the cause of a fire.
“Without Patty, we are taking blind samples and that can get costly,” says Trooper Duwayne Baird, who works in the Fire Marshal’s unit of the Pennsylvania State Police.
Patty has been working as an arson dog since May 2015. She trains 1 to 2 hours everyday and is called to the scene of a fire about 2 to 3 times a month. After a string of arson fires in Beaver Falls, Patty helped in the arrest and conviction of Zachary Metcalf. After police found Metcalf near the scene of a fire, Patty was able to smell accelerant on his hand and foot.
Just how good is Patty at detecting accelerant? According to Seidl, she’d be able to find a single drop of gasoline in a football field.
“She’s 99.3 percent accurate in training sessions. She’s that good,” says Seidl.
Patty didn’t start her life as a service dog on the arson beat. She began as a guide dog for the blind. But, Patty was kicked out. Yes, this super smeller liked the smell of food too much.
“When you eat blind people’s food, you get kicked out of blind school, so she was sent to the police academy where she excelled,” says Seidl.
She excelled at finding accelerant and the rest is history.
Patty and Captain Seidl also work closely with local schools and kids. Half of all arson fires are started by juveniles. Patty and Seidl try to teach children the dangers of playing with lighters and matches.