Tana, one of the Office of the State Fire Marshals’ two arson dogs, has once again been nominated for the Hero Dog Awards by the American Humane Association. Tana’s sharp senses and tedious training have contributed to putting several arsonists behind bars. This is the second year in a row Tana has been nominated. Voting is now open at www.herodogawards.org. During the first round, people can vote every day.
“Tana can go into the scene of an arson-caused fire and identify if any type of accelerant was used and the origination point,” said Rose Rozmiarek, Tana’s handler and OSFM Chief of Investigations.
Tana, a five-and-a-half-year old yellow lab, is a certified Accelerant Detection Canine through the Maine State Police and works in the OSFM Investigation Division.
This amazing dog started her service work at a young age and has already been in service for more than four years working multiple cases with convictions.  Many of the suspects in her cases would plead out their case instead of going to trial knowing the evidence that Tana uncovered.
Tana was diagnosed with a potential debilitating injury in the fall of 2013 that could have ended her short career.  She underwent surgery and was back to work within two months.  Her desire and drive continues and still is assisting in arson convictions throughout the State of Kansas.
Besides working fire scenes, Tana also presents demonstrations as well as promotes fire safety to the citizens of Kansas.  She worked with school age children during Fire Prevention Week and is now a regular at the Kansas State Fair Emergency Preparedness Day events.
Arson dogs have many different skills and train every day to sharpen those skills. Not only can they sniff out the exact location of accelerant at a fire scene, they can also pick out a suspect from a line-up. Often the arsonists will still have traces of the accelerant on their clothing.
Rozmiarek says Tana has helped put criminals in jail in several cases with the evidence she discovers at arson scenes.
In the case of a Parsons, Kansas fire, a suspect tried to pass off a fatal house fire as an electrical accident but Tana detected accelerant in the house’s ceiling insulation.
With that evidence presented at court, the arsonist was convicted.
Rozmiarek says if Tana can win the award, arson dogs will finally get the spotlight they deserve.
“To credit Tana for her skills and accomplishments at bringing arsonists to justice would just be awesome.”
Anyone can vote for Tana at
www.herodogawards.org. The first round of voting opened March 9 and will end May 15. The top three vote getters will go on to the second round to select the category winner and, finally, each category winner will move on to final selection for the overall Hero Dog.
There are multiple categories other than Arson Dog, and top finalists in each category will travel to Beverly Hills, Calif. to attend the American Humane Association Hero Dog Awards Gala.
Cash prizes will be given out to the winners, and they will choose what charity or benefit to donate it to.
“Tana should be a Hero dog because not only does she put arsonists in jail but also touches so many others as an ambassador to fire safety while overcoming medical obstacles.”