Arson Team Swears In Pet Detective

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Barked: Thu Mar 23, '06 9:12pm PST 
San Diego's Metro Arson Strike Team swore in a Labrador retriever as its newest detective Friday.

"Hollie" is trained to sniff out flammable liquids. She replaces "Kona," who was killed by a car last October.

Officials said Hollie's skills will make arson investigators' jobs easier as they sift through potential clues at fire scenes.

"If there's anything left, she will find it," said Capt. Mike Merriken, of the Metro Arson Strike Team. "We'll take those samples to the police crime lab and we'll have them analyzed and used in court, and (they) will help us convict the arsonist."

The $15,000 cost to buy and train Hollie was covered by contributions from the San Diego Gulls, Horizon Christian Fellowship, the Sara Ford Foundation and individual donors.