• Crime-fighting arson dog dead at 15


    ATLANTA - Georgia officials announced Monday that the state’s sixth and longest-serving arson dog has died.

    Insurance and Safety Fire Commissioner Ralph Hudgens said Cotton has been working for the organization since 2003.

    The 15-year-old canine sniffed out products that would help determine if accelerants were used to start a fire. Between September 2003 and January 2014, Cotton and his handler were involved in more than 3,000 fire investigations.

    His special ability led to the convictions of 250 arson suspects, which included six arrests for murders that involved arson.

    “We’ll always remember Cotton as a valuable employee in the fight against arson,” said Hudgens. “Without his special abilities, hundreds of suspicious fires in Georgia may have gone unsolved." 

    Hudgens said Cotton died Feb. 19 after a brief illness. 

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