One Search and Rescue group is getting a very special gift to help train their dogs, a donated limb. To honor Samantha Koenig, a teenager who went missing in 2012, 65-year-old Donald Jacobs decided to donate his leg that had to be amputated to Alaska Search and Rescue Dog. This is the group that search and rescue calls in when someone goes missing and they need specially trained dogs to find them.
“We wanted to do something that would be beneficial and maybe help in a little way,” said Jacobs from his hospital bed in Washington.
Before the procedure he made it clear he wanted his leg to aid in search and rescue efforts in Alaska. He says the gesture is to honor Samantha Koenig, a teenager who went missing in 2012. He is on the board of directors for a group called Seeking Alaska’s Missing.
“We thought that would be a great gesture in her name and something that would help future missing people by helping finding them or finding the body and giving the family peace of mind,” said Jacobs.
The leg will be used to train dogs to locate human remains.
Paul Stoklos with Alaska Search and Rescue Dogs says he’s aided in hundreds of searches over the past twenty four years and the gift is valuable for training purposes, “This is going to be a really big resource for our group to have a large piece like this to train with,” said Stoklos. (wkuu)
What an amazing gift that will use to trained dogs to become heroes, to find and rescued those lost, to find remains and bring closure to families.
And as strange as this may sound, Jacobs is not the first person to donate a limb to help to train dogs. Earlier this year a Spokane County man also donated his amputated limb. A vet who was paralysed during a military training mission had to have his leg removed due to an infection.
“I just thought it would a good thing to do,” said Brent. “They’ve always had smaller tissue to work with — it could give families some closure.”
He said a college friend who now works in law enforcement that gave him the idea to donate his remaining leg. One of those friends even traveled to Seattle to help transport the leg to Spokane County.
Brent believes donating his leg was a better option than the alternative. Doctors usually have amputated body parts incinerated as medical waste.
“I guess I had the right criminal justice roommates who all went to college together,” said Brent. “I thought they were teasing me at first, but if this works out to help people, great.”
Deputies with the Spokane County Sheriff’s office said they are deeply grateful. They even presented Brent with special coin to show their gratitude.
“I just hope it helps one family. It’d be great if it helps hundreds, that’d be even better,” Brent added. (khou)
Though not a “gift” one would normally think of, the gifts these men donated will help to train future heroes…