Conservation Canine Program
The Wildlife Heritage Foundation of New Hampshire pays for many Fish and Game programs that are both un- and under-funded, including the important Conservation Canine program. We are the primary funder of this vital law enforcement and life-saving service.
There’s a gap in state funding, since funds from state fish and wildlife agencies nationwide have traditionally come from hunting, fishing, trapping, and off-road vehicle licenses, and these dollars have decreased over the years.
That’s where the Foundation comes in!
Our annual Cash for K-9 event is the premiere fundraising event raising much-needed dollars to support the Conservation Canine unit.
The Foundation supports the Conservation Canine unit by funding a variety of needs including outfitting the Conservation Officer’s vehicle for their canine partner, veterinary bills and equipment such as flotation vests for the canines, among many other needs.
“I don’t know where we’d be without the Foundation,” notes Col. Kevin Jordan, chief of the Law Enforcement Division with New Hampshire’s Fish and Game Department. “They partner with us year-round to raise money to support our conservation canine program and to enhance awareness of the incredible role these canines and their conservation officer handlers play in our mission statewide. I can’t thank the Foundation enough for being our top philanthropic supporter.”
Conservation Canines play an important role in keeping things running smoothly in the great New Hampshire outdoors. They sniff out used ammunition, can find a kill site, and are good at searching for lost hikers, as examples.
New Hampshire Fish and Game Conservation Officers have the challenging job of protecting and investigating the illegal taking of all fish and wildlife in the state. They are also responsible for conducting wilderness search and rescue missions and investigate all levels of criminal violations. Often times, NH’s conservation officers need to call in the dogs to help!
The criminal justice system requires all law enforcement canines to be highly trained and certified in their respective fields of expertise. Law enforcement canines must also be highly trained and certified to be able to hold weight in a criminal trial.
Conservation officers and their canines are certified through the United States Police Canine Association (USPCA). Their certifications include tracking, evidence detection, agility and obedience and fish & wildlife detection. Training is very intensive and conducted on regular basis to maintain an extremely high level of proficiency and reliability.
Our New Hampshire conservation canine teams have won numerous awards and accolades for their diligent work, training, and performance. They are well-respected throughout the nation and provide incredible value to everyone who enjoys NH’s great outdoors.
Conservation Canine teams James Benvenuti and Cora and Eric Fluette and Moxie received awards for tracking and detection in 2020.
The Emma Fund
The Emma Fund is the Foundation’s primary designated gift pool of charitable contributions raised to help pay for major injuries or illness that might happen to NH’s Conservation Canine unit dogs and help pay for the upkeep of these incredible dogs in their retirement.
Ten percent of every dollar raised for canines is allocated to the Emma Fund.
The story of Emma is profound. On July 15, 2017, ten yellow labs were born at Rise and Shine Retrievers in Center Barnstead, New Hampshire. The litter was healthy and active, with eight girl pups and two boys.
Rise and Shine Retrievers, the well-known breeder of good looking, hard driving Labrador and Chesapeake Bay Retrievers with excellent temperament and a desire to hunt, was aware that New Hampshire Fish and Game’s Law Enforcement Division was ready for their second puppy from Rise and Shine.
At the same time, Jon, the son of Rise and Shine owners Wes and Belinda Reed, was on the list for a puppy as well. Out of this wonderful litter, Emma and Moxie both stood out as perfect specimens for the breed.
In the summer of 2018, after being chosen by Conservation Officer Eric Fluette, of Errol, NH, Moxie attended the Vermont State Police Academy, while Emma excelled in her field training.
Emma was a beautiful dog, with sharp instincts and incredible innate talent for birding. By all accounts, she loved to work, was infectiously happy, and had a great deal of energy.
During her downtime, she was a gentle snuggler, who enjoyed her rest. But her true love was in the field, from duck hunting to flushing pheasants, woodcock, and grouse. She worked at two different shooting preserves, so she was well acclimated to everything from jump shooting to working the coastal waterways.
In the spring of 2018 Emma participated in NH Fish and Game Discover Wild NH Day as a demo dog for Rise and Shine Retrievers and was resoundingly loved and applauded by the hundreds who saw her in action.
Unfortunately, before the end of her first hunting season, she sustained a life-ending injury, devasting her owner and everyone who came in contact with this wonderful canine.
In Emma’s memory, we’ve started the Emma Fund to help pay for unforeseen illnesses, surgeries, or other medical care for our current Conservation Canine dogs and to help our Law Enforcement canine officers pay for those same dogs when the dogs enter retirement.
To find out how to support the Conservation Canine Unit and/or the Emma Fund, please Click Here:
For more information about the NH Fish and Game Conservation Canines visit the NH Fish and Games Canine page.
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