Meet Ritzey, Kent County's new arson dog

12:16 PM, Oct 29, 2013   |    comments
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Ritzey, the arson dog

GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) -- There is a new addition to the Kent County Sheriff's Department and she has the ability to do something humans can't.

Ritzey is an arson-sniffing dog. Today, the Labrador-golden retriever was introduced to the public by her handler, Deputy Dale DeKorte.

Both dog and handler recently completed a five week canine-accelerant detection school sponsored by State Farm Insurance.

Normally, it would take an investigator days to sift through evidence, but a trained dog can do it in less than an hour.

"Digging out a large-scale scene is extremely time-consuming, if you have no witnesses to the actual fire. She will come in and determine the origin or the source of the fire and assist investigators in finding the location and cause," says DeKorte.

In 2011, there were eighty cases of arson in Kent County. The sheriff's department says Ritzey will save them time and money and hopefully deter criminals from starting fires.

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