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Thursday, February 18, 2010

When the going gets tough, dogs are there to help

MIDDLETOWN - When people needed help after the explosion at the Kleen Energy plant on Feb. 7, Joe Gore, of Bolton, Conn., and his pal, Zappa, were there.

Zappa, a Fidelco German shepherd, shown here with Gore, "worked through the night at the site of the deadly" explosion, seeking to find survivors, Fidelco said in a statement.

The power plant explosion killed five people and injured about two dozen others.

Gore and Zappa, a Fidelco “career change dog,” have been doing search and rescue work for the last 2 1/2 years as members of Connecticut Task Force 1. which finds, extricates and provides immediate medical treatment to victims who are lost or trapped within collapsed structures, the statement said.

Gore also is a long-time supporter of Fidelco and has raised eight “foster pups,” including his current foster “Zinc,” the statement said.

“Talking with Joe and seeing Zappa as they came from the devastation of the Middletown power plant reminds us all how lucky we are to have teams like them available when disaster strikes,” Eliot D. Russman, CEO and executive director of the Fidelco Guide Dog Foundation, Inc., siad in the statement. “The fact that Zappa’s breeding and work ethic makes him valuable in search and rescue is even more gratifying.”

Fidelco, a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization based in Bloomfield, Conn., breeds, trains and places its own, unique type of German shepherd guide dogs with people who have visual disabilities, the statement said.

It "pioneered In-community Placement in the United States; a process that allows guide dog users to be trained in the communities where they live and work," it said.

Fidelco relies solely on the gifts and the generosity of individuals, foundations, corporations and civic organizations to help it “Share the Vision.”

Editor's note: the information contained in this post was provided by Fidelco. Tesla's Love would like to offer special thanks to Jack Hayward of Fidelco, for permission to share this story and the work he does to get the word out.

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