20th Annual ACE Award Winner: Search and Rescue Dog JoePete

JoePeteThis week, doggies.com is featuring the winners of the 20th AKC Humane Annual ACE Awards.

Part one: Uniformed Service K-9 Summer

Part two: Therapy Dog Gunther

Part three: Service Dog Polly

Today’s post features the winner in the Search and Rescue Category: JoePete.

“JoePete,” also known as “JP” is an eight-year-old Doberman Pinscher owned and handled by Cris Bean. Together they volunteer with the Michigan Search and Rescue.

Cris rescued JoePete in 2010 and he progressed rapidly through the human remains training program. However, just prior to achieving certification, JoePete received a very early diagnosis of Wobbler’s disease, a catchall term referring to several possible malformations of the cervical vertebrae that cause an unsteady (wobbly) gait and weakness in dogs and horses. Despite his diagnosis, JoePete achieved certification with Michigan Search and Rescue and went on to achieve certification with two national organizations as well. He has since participated in 29 missing person searches, helping to bring closure to many grieving families. He has also aided in local graveyard reconstruction projects by Historical Societies and landowners by helping to locate burial sites in forgotten cemeteries in and around the state of Michigan.

In addition to his search & rescue work, JoePete has participated in countless educational demonstrations with children, adults, and individuals with special needs. He earned his AKC Canine Good Citizen certification and has become a certified therapy dog through Alliance of Therapy Dogs. Despite JP’s battle with Wobblers, his strength, work ethic, determination and loving spirit shine through every single day in his search & rescue work.

Congrats to JoePete and Cris!

Tomorrow: Exemplary Companion Dog Molly

Until next time,
Good day, and good dog!

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