Fire Investigator Andrew Whitney and his K9 Cheeto recently graduated from a four-week Arson Dog Training Program. Whitney and K9 Cheeto were one of 13 teams from across the country that attended the training with Maine Specialty Dogs.

Cheeto is a 2-year-old, male, yellow Lab mix who comes from Paws with a Cause in Wayland, MI. Cheeto was originally raised to be a disability dog but had too strong of a nose and work drive to be a service animal. “The Office of State Fire Marshal would like to thank State Farm for their ongoing support,” said Rich McCarthy, Maine’s Fire Marshal. We are excited to have Cheeto join our fire marshal family.

Cheeto joins K9 Shannon and K9 Harry who is from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Heather Paul, National Arson Dog Program Coordinator for State Farm, said:

We feel law enforcement officials should have every tool possible to combat this costly — and sometimes deadly — crime," said “These K-9s enable investigators to do their job more efficiently and effectively. The scope of arson goes beyond impacting insurance companies – it affects the personal and financial well-being of us all. Training dogs to detect accelerants at fire scenes saves time and money in arson investigations.

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