A Former Shelter Dog Is Helping the Victims of Hurricane Harvey

Rocket is not only a survivor, but an inspiration.
By: Aly Semigran
Rocket the dog

It’s nothing short of fate that Rocket the Border Collie mix is here today, and it’s a wonderful thing, for so many reasons.

Just five years ago, the former shelter dog was slated to be euthanized when he was initially deemed “too energetic” to be adopted. 

Thankfully, the Sacramento Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals saw Rocket’s potential. The staff realized that while Rocket’s infinite energy may not make him an ideal house pet, he would make an excellent search and rescue dog. 

That’s where the National Disaster Search Dog Foundation (NDSDF) came into the picture. After passing his search dog test back in 2013, Rocket was eventually assigned to Engineer Michael Stornetta of the Windsor Fire District in 2014.

In their years as a team, Stornetta and Rocket have achieved FEMA certification and “have accomplished search and rescue missions, including most recently the devastated areas of Texas impacted by Hurricane Harvey,” the NDSDF said in a recent Facebook post.

The Windsor Fire Protection District (WFPD) noted that Stornetta and Rocket are “trained in finding live victims during disasters,” making them the perfect pair to send to the people of Texas in their darkest hour. 

“They are ready and willing, and we know they will do an awesome job,” the WFPD assured in a Facebook post. 

Because people had faith in Rocket’s abilities, not only was his life saved, but he’s also saved the lives of others along the way. 

“Rocket’s story is a testament to the wonderful variety of animals that can be found at local shelters,” said Dawn Foster, the director of marketing and communications for the Sacramento SPCA. “Each animal is special in their own way and all are waiting for the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of the people they meet.” 

Image via Windsor Fire Protection District Facebook