2020 AKC Humane Fund ACE Winner: Search & Rescue Dog / Shiraz the Belgian Malinois

Photo:  AKC Humane Fund
Photo: AKC Humane Fund

“Shiraz,” officially known as CH Bord du Lac Shiraz CDX ROM1, is a 12-year-old Belgian Malinois, certified as a Human Remains Detection Dog by the National Network of Canine Detection Services. She is a highly acclaimed search and rescue dog working with her owner and handler, Susan Goodhope of Havana, FL.

In her storied career spanning over a decade, Shiraz has taken part in over seventy searches throughout the southeast, including forensic, archaeological, and historic searches. In 2013, Shiraz was tasked with locating a Native American burial mound that was referenced in a publication after Archaeologists were unable to locate it for eight years. After searching for an hour in an overgrown, wooded area, Shiraz gave the indication that she detected human remains. A meter underground from where she indicated, a human toe bone was discovered, and radiocarbon dated all the way back to 670 A.D.

Along with her handler, Shiraz has also assisted in locating unmarked graves for communities, churches and families as well as those of slaves, who were buried in poorly marked areas on plantations. She assisted in the location of 900 graves in the Flipper Cemetery in Thomasville, Georgia, which has since been marked and restored. Over time, as records are lost and simple wooden markers decay, memories fade, but Shiraz’ work in locating these final resting places has given the respect due to those individuals and has brought closure to the families.

The search and rescue work that Shiraz has accomplished has not gone unnoticed – she has been commended by the US Department of the Interior, given a Distinguished Achievement Award by the Florida Bar and a Registry of Merit from the ABMC. She has also been featured in countless newspapers, including the New York Times.

Congratulations to Shiraz and kudos to all of the competitors.

Until next time,
Good day, and good dog!

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