Crime-fighting arson dog dead at 15

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.

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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.