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Yahtzee, an arson dog, joins Des Moines Fire Department

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Yahtzee, an English black lab, has joined the Des Moines Fire Department as an arson dog, the city announced.

The dog, which recently spent three months in Maine training, will detect fire accelerants in cases where arson is suspected.

Funding for Yahtzee and his training was provided by State Farm through the State Farm Arson Dog Program.

“Yahtzee is a game-changer for our fire investigation unit,” Des Moines Fire Department Captain Eric Huntoon said in a news release. “He’s highly skilled at detecting traces of chemicals that are used to start fires and will help us refine our investigative skills at fire scenes.”

Huntoon, Yahtee’s trainer, spent a month training with the dog.

“It’s like having a new member of the family,” Huntoon said. “He lives with me, and comes into work every day, so we’ve gotten comfortable with each other quickly. He’s a hard-working dog who loves his training exercises and is going to be a great asset to the Des Moines Fire Department.”

State Farm’s Arson Dog program has placed more than 450 dogs across the United States and Canada since its inception in 1993.

To watch a video of Yahtzee, click here.

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