Service Dogs - Rue

Incredible three-year-old Labrador Rue has been nominated by Crew Manager Lindsay Sielski, from Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service. Rue was donated by a family who realised they were unable to give her the physical and mental stimulation required of a working dog.

Lindsay told us: “Upon donation to Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service, Rue quickly passed the mark and became competent in her search to become a fully qualified Fire Investigation Search Dog.”

Rue’s jobs include attending fires of suspicious origin or fatalities to find vital information required by the Fire Investigation team working on behalf of the Fire Service and Police. Lindsay said: “Rue has a phenomenal nose and a work ethic that is second to none. She’s able to pinpoint even the smallest amount of ignitable liquid residue that no technology on the scene can do — and she does it in seconds! 

“No incident is ever the same and she will work in burnt-out buildings, assist with vehicles that have been set on fire, or even search large areas for discarded containers where the police can link DNA to substances found on the scene.”

Rue is one of only a few dogs in the UK that has this specialist skillset and, without her and her other four-legged colleagues, Fire Investigators would otherwise struggle to conclude their incidents. Rue will work anywhere in the Northwest to assist Lancashire and other Fire and Rescue Services. Lindsay added: “This year alone, she has attended almost 40 incidents to gather evidence, and much of this evidence she has located allows the police to convict arsonists.”

When Rue’s not working hard on these incidents, she’s either training alongside other search dogs or teaching young people in schools or the community about the importance of Fire Safety and other vital messages. 

If you think Rue’s hard work means she deserves to win the Service Dogs category, putting her in the running for the title of Autarky Hardest Working Dog 2021, then make sure you cast your vote here.


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