November 17, 2009 (San Diego) - William D. Gore, Sheriff, San Diego County, today announces one of the department’s K-9 Search and Rescue volunteers has received an American Kennel Club ACE Award ~ Honorable Mention. Only five dogs are selected for the honor.
Sheriff Gore commented, “We are extremely fortunate to have Snickers and his owner, Pam [Medhurst], on our Search and Rescue Team. Snickers and Pam are critical to the mission of finding the lost and missing in San Diego County. We couldn’t do the job without them.”
Snickers is an eight-year-old beagle from a local San Diego breeder. He began his training when he was only eleven weeks and passed his certification test at one year; thereby working for San Diego Sheriff’s Department his entire life.
His first search was for Jahi Turner, where Snickers met a Riverside bloodhound handler who was so impressed with the dog's work that he invited Snickers and his owner, Medhurst, to training exercises outside the county. In fact, Snickers has been to several seminars in Colorado where he has run very advanced trails.
Snickers received his nickname "Sergeant," when a Search and Rescue Coordinator, so impressed with the work, jokingly said he was giving Snickers a field promotion. The name stuck and now he is commonly referred to as Sergeant Snickers.
In 1999, The American Kennel Club took action to express its time-honored respect for the extraordinary canine-human bond, as well as its appreciation for the innumerable ways in which dogs meaningfully contribute to our lives. That initiative gave rise to The AKC Humane Fund Awards for Canine Excellence (ACE), which celebrated its first presentation year in 2000.
To qualify, the dog is required to be AKC registered or an AKC recognized breed, and have performed some exemplary act, whether large or seemingly small, that has significantly benefited a community or individual. One award is given every year in each of the following five categories: Law Enforcement, Search and Rescue, Therapy, Service, and Exemplary Companion Dog. When appropriate, dogs earning honorable mention will be selected.
Each of the five honorees received a cash award of $1000 and an engraved sterling-silver collar medallion to be presented at the AKC/Eukanuba National Championship. Their names will be engraved on a plaque that hangs permanently in The American Kennel Club Library in New York City. Dogs receiving honorable mention will be awarded an engraved bronze medallion.
When not performing acts to help local law enforcement, Snicker's leads a dog's life. "As for his favorite food--well he is a beagle, so all food is great, and his favorite toys are tennis balls and soft squeaky balls," a press release from the Sheriff's office notes.