Shelter dog steps up into K-9 rescue

A former shelter dog is now calling the Bay Area his home as a K-9 unit with a firefighter from the Windsor Fire Protection District.

Rocket Booster was partnered with firefighter Mike Stornetta earlier this month as a K-9 Disaster Search Team. Rocket was found at the Sacramento Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and almost faced euthanasia, district officials said.

Volunteers at the National Disaster Search Dog Foundation based in Ojai adopted him and trained him for eight months, according to district officials.

Rocket and Stornetta are part of the California Task Force 4 Urban Search and Rescue based in Oakland. They are both trained to assist in missing person searches and find survivors in disasters such as earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes and mudslides.

Stornetta, a firefighter with the district since 2002, expressed interest in the foundation in 2011 and has trained weekly with K-9 handlers in Oakland, district officials said.

A swearing-in and badge pinning ceremony for Rocket will take place at the Windsor fire station on Old Redwood Highway Tuesday afternoon.

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