Dog that won cloning contest passes away
Trakr was credited with hundreds of arrests and recovered more than one million dollars in stolen goods while serving the police department of Halifax, Nova Scotia. After the dog retired, his owner, and police department handler, James Symington, took TrakR to the World Trade Center after 9/11 to assist in search efforts.
There, according to Symington, Trakr, in addition to finding several casualties, found the last survivor in the rubble of 9/11 — Genelle Guzman.
Afterwards, Trakr was presented with the Extraordinary Service to Humanity Award by Dr. Jane Goodall, and was featured in books and magazines dedicated to 9/11 heroes including, “Dog World” and “In the Line of Duty.”
After his 9/11 work, Trakr collapsed from smoke and chemical inhalation, burns and exhaustion. Likely a result of this exposure, the press release announcing his death says, Trakr was disabled for the past two years.
Symington, whose trip to the World Trade Center was considered an unauthorized absence by his police department, left the department and moved to California afterwards to pursue an acting career. He took Trakr with him. Symington says the police department was considering a policy to euthanize retiring K9 dogs.
Commenting on Trakr’s life, Symington said, “I am honored to have been Trakr’s partner, best friend and lifelong companion. He possessed a rare combination of uncanny intuition, pure heart, and relentless courage and has been an inspiration to so many. He’ll live in my heart forever.”
In 2008, Trakr received international attention again when BioArts International named him the “World’s Most Cloneworthy Dog.” This honor enables Trakr’s DNA to be used to clone a puppy, which Symington, now head of entertainment talent management firm Prodigy Talent Group, plans to name Prodigy.
The press release makes no mention of the status of the cloning.
Symington is not paying for the cloning of Trakr; it was awarded to him for winning a BioArts essay contest last summer.
Symington and his wife, who live in Los Angeles, have been approached by various Hollywood executives and best-selling authors to turn Trakr’s story into a book and movie, according to the press release.
Posted by John Woestendiek May 4th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: 911, animals, bioarts, book, clone, cloned, clones, cloneworth, cloning, dna, dogs, genelle guzman, golden clone, halifax, james symington, last survivor, movie, nova scotia, pets, police department, press release, prodigy, rescue, search and resecue, survivors, trakr, world trade center