This month, we celebrated and honored exceptional people, organizations and animals who have showed continued dedication and commitment to the improvement of animal welfare at our annual Humane Awards Luncheon.
One of our honorees this year was a special police dog who was presented with the ASPCA Public Service Award for his unique and highly effective contributions to integral police work. Bear, a once homeless Labrador-mix, originally found his calling with Indiana fireman Todd Jordan as the first trainee in Jordan’s innovative program to train animals to detect electronic storage devices. Bear is the third police dog in the world trained to discover and identify these devices, a crucial skill in the collection of key evidence in child sexual exploitation cases and the successful prosecution of offenders.
Left: Deputy Chief Marc Garth Green and Detective Ian Polhemus of the Seattle Police Department posing with Bear. Right: Detective Ian Polhemus, Bear’s partner and pet parent, posing with Bear’s Public Service Award.
After 10 months of training and work with the Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force, Bear was instrumental in the search of Jared Fogle’s house in July of 2015, successfully locating digital items that had been missed by the search teams. Bear has also played a key role in other high-profile cases, including the investigations of USA Gymnastics Coach Marvin Sharp in 2015 and USA Olympic Swim Coach Sean Hutchison this year.
Detective Ian Polhemus accepting the award on Bear’s behalf, while Bear smiles for the camera.
Now living in Seattle with his partner and pet parent, Seattle Police Department Detective Ian Polhemus, Bear spends 99 percent of his time on ICAC cases in the Washington area. Since 2015, he has been involved in more than 125 cases, 38 of which resulted in Bear recovering more than 100 critical pieces of evidence that would otherwise have been overlooked. Bear also provides emotional support to officers working in the stressful division, as well as to children at the sites of the raids who may need to be questioned.
ASPCA President and CEO, Matt Bershadker, poses with the 2018 HAL award winners.
This well-deserved award serves to honor Bear’s contributions to law enforcement and all of his heroic efforts throughout his career as a police dog. A huge congratulations to Bear!
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