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Lila scans the scene of a fire at the Thunderbird Hotel in North Portland, Oregon.

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ADC:Lila, 8-year-old black Labrador retriever
Handler:Lt. Fabian Jackson
Community:Portland, Oregon
Training:Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ Accelerant Detection Canine Program

Lila can sniff out 30 flammable substances.

Lt. Jackson and Lila work with the Portland Fire and Rescue Investigations Unit. She started her career as an 8-week-old puppy, training to be a guide dog for the blind. Due to her keen sense of smell and love for birds, Lila was redirected to canine training. When she detects something, she sits and looks at Lt. Jackson for a treat. He rewards her with fish-flavored kibble.

As part of a National Response Team, the duo is called into action from Washington to Arizona. Lila’s work at small (vehicle fires) and large (commercial buildings a city block long) scenes has resulted in custodies and arson convictions.

One memorable conviction Lila helped with was when investigators were looking to prove that a suspect set a fire at the home of his ex-girlfriend. At the crime scene, there were no fingerprints and no traces of DNA. Lila picked up a trail of gasoline spread throughout the house, and this evidence was used in part to convict the arsonist.

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