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Death of Tango the Fire Safety Dog

Clarksville canine was credited with helping save the lives of children and their families. Fire safety educators, friends and families across America mourn his loss.
CLARKSVILLE, AR (News release) - Dedicating his life to helping save the lives of children and their families, Tango the Fire Safety Dog, a Dalmatian whose efforts reached tens of thousands of children across the United States and throughout the world with his fire safety efforts, died January 2nd at the age of 12.

Born one month before the tragedy of 9/11, Tango helped save lives, reduce injuries, and prevent fire losses through fire and life safety education. In 2008, he became a fire service dog for Johnson County RFD #1 in Clarksville, when his pal, Sparkles the Fire Safety Dog, reduced her travel and work schedules. 

Over the next couple of years, Tango and Sparkles spent many hours together teaching fire safety - until Sparkles passed away in October 2010. Tango was the goodwill ambassador for the Keep Kids Fire Safe Foundation.

After Sparkles’ passing, “Tango became a completely different dog,” according to his owner and handler, Firefighter, Fire Safety Educator and Executive Director of the foundation, Dayna Hilton. “It was amazing to watch Tango as he effortlessly assumed the role that Sparkles once held. I could not believe the change in him, which gave my heart great joy as I watched him help carry on Sparkles’ work. Tango helped train a new fire safety puppy, Molly, and was incredibly gentle with her, mentoring her the last year and a half. Molly is carrying on the tradition of teaching fire safety to children and their caregivers, just as Tango did, and Sparkles before him.”

In addition to appearing at events across the United States, Tango Skyped with children throughout the world and participated in Sparkles’ Safety Spot, a weekly cutting edge live streamed fire safety show. Tango enjoyed sharing his adventures and fire safety tips with his numerous Facebook fans.

Tango was a nominee for the American Kennel Club 2012 Awards for Canine Excellence and the American Humane Association Hero Dog Award in the Exemplary Companion category in 2012. He received numerous honors, including being on the cover of the 2012 summer issue of American Dog Magazine.

According to Hilton, Tango’s work will continue on the Fire Safety Dogs’ website, Facebook page and blog, and through the work of his companion fire safety dog, Molly the Fire Safety Dog.

Memorial service arrangements for Tango are pending. Memorial contributions may be made to the Keep Kids Fire Safe Foundation, 106 East Poplar Street, Suite 200, Clarksville, Arkansas 72830 or by visiting the foundation’s website (click here). All gifts will be sent to the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation in honor of Tango and his efforts to keep children safe from fire related deaths and injuries.

File video of Tango on the job:
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