Jesse was a dual-certified National Association for Search and Rescue (NASAR) search dog for both live area search and human remains detection, as well as a certified HRD dog for International Police Working Dog Association. She was also a Therapy Dog International Gold Achievement dog, with over 500 therapy dog visits to patients in hospitals, nursing homes and doctors' offices.
Jesse and owner Sue responded all over the east coast and were always willing to travel to help families in need when a loved one goes missing. For the past five years, Jesse has served her community and surrounding communities by deploying on multiple searches in arduous terrain. Snakes, ticks, steep cliffs, swamps, extreme weather conditions, fox, bears, and gunshots have all threatened her safety while she had diligently searched for missing people.
During a recent training session on treacherous terrain, Jesse came out of the woods limping badly and yelping with every step she took. She was diagnosed with two herniated discs in her spine, but Jesse was determined to keep going. After a long and difficult rehab, consisting of a six month period of acupuncture, physical therapy, and acupressure, Jesse was back to work looking for the missing. On her first search back, she found a hunter in the swamps of New Jersey.
You'd never know from watching her that she was ever incapacitated, and until she succumbed suddenly to mesenteric torsion, her work had continued. Many people's lives are changed forever when a loved one goes missing, and it is the work of dogs like Jesse that help to bring closure and peace to those affected. "She is my hero" states Sue Condreras, owner/handler.
Jesse passed away suddenly on Christmas night, 11 days after receiving the AKC ACE award for Search & Rescue at the 2013 Eukanuba National Dog Show. She was only 6 years old, and we are heartbroken. The loss to our community is devastating as well. It costs thousands of dollars to get a dog to achieve the status that Jesse did. We are setting up a fund raiser in her memory, with proceeds going to research for bloat and mesenteric torsion.
Please consider donating to this worthy cause, so we may further our knowledge and treatment of such fatal diseases, and help contribute to the funding required for such research.