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KSAT Crime Fighters give inside look at city's working K-9s

SAFD, SAPD both use K-9s to solve crimes

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Both the San Antonio Fire Department and the San Antonio Police Department are utilizing K-9s to help solve and fight crime, with each department saying they are a crucial part of their day-to-day duties.

Kai, a 6-year-old black Labrador, is SAFD's only arson dog and was brought to the department after being rescued off the streets of Illinois.

"She was caught by a dog catcher and she would've been destroyed," said Justin Davis, arson investigator and Kai's handler.

Kai has been working for the fire department for the past four years after undergoing special training to find signs of arson.

"Kai is trained to find petroleum based hydrocarbons," said Davis. "What we're looking for are flammable liquids, things that people typically use when people they intentionally set a fire, like gasoline, charcoal lighter fluid, things of that nature."

While there is only one dog working for the city's fire department, the police department has a total of 13, including German shepherd, Ivo.

"They're very important," said officer Tony Plauche, Ivo's handler. "They save us a lot of time, and they find a lot of things that we would never be able to find without them."

The police department's K-9s are trained to find both drugs and people, even taking down suspects who chose to run from police.

"We're there to support the other units, we're out there working every day, doing a lot of the dirty work," Plauche said. "We're there to help, whenever they need us."

Kai is also running for the American Humane Association's Hero Dog Award in the Arson category.

Participants can vote for Kai once per day, by clicking here.