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Dog that won cloning contest passes away

Trakr, the German Shepherd search and rescue dog whose owner won an an essay contest to have him cloned, died last week at his home. He was 16.

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.

Comments

Comment from MY GOD MY DOG
Time December 24, 2009 at 9:25 am

This guy is sick sick sick… really SICK!!! Get some HELP! Must be post 9/11 hysteria!! I mean when is enough ENOUGH???? AND he has the audacity to promote adoption of sheltered pets on top of it??? PLLLEEAAASEEEE!!! Do a background check, I hear the “Hero” isn’t as squeaky clean as he would like “his public” to believe!!! GO BACK TO CANADA YOU OPPORTUNIST!!!!

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