On May 16 retired Arson Canine “Misty” was laid to rest.
Misty, a 13-year-old Labrador retriever, served the department from 1999 through 2006 after completing an intensive six week training program in Maine with her handler Scott Hoglander. They graduated together and were certified by the Maine Criminal Justice System through a scholarship given by State Farm Insurance.
Throughout her career Misty sniffed out many arson scenes. In addition to her work in Prince George’s County, she also responded to assist the following agencies: Office of the State Fire Marshal, Annapolis Fire Department, Anne Arundel County Fire Department, Baltimore City Fire Department, Howard County Fire Department, Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Services, District of Columbia Fire Department and several Fire Departments in Northern Virginia.
Misty was instrumental in finding patterns that led to a serial arsonist who was setting fires in the Metro area. She was able to detect the presence of an ignitable liquid at many fire scenes. As a result, a task force was created and a 22 month investigation disclosed the person responsible for over 300 fires.
This collaborative effort was featured on an episode of Forensic Files entitled "Hot on the Trail" in which Misty appeared. For her work on this case, she was awarded several presentations including a Prince George’s County Fire/EMS Department Unit Citation, County Council Proclamation and a Special Achievement Award from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).
Misty was originally a rescue dog in a pound before helping stem fires. Throughout her Fire/EMS Department career and after Misty remained a faithful pet, companion and family member to Scott Hoglander.