It is with a heavy heart to announce that veteran Search Dog Moxie passed away recently with her handler, Brent Koeninger, at her side. Moxie was surrendered to the Humane Society of Ventura County when her original owner was deployed overseas. Within a day, the Search Dog Foundation had received numerous calls about the petite black Lab that loved her toys! She did a wonderful job on her search dog candidate evaluation and was soon on her way to SDF’s training kennel to learn the skills she would need for a career in disaster search.
In October 2012, Moxie was partnered with Brent, a firefighter with Oklahoma City Fire and veteran handler with Oklahoma Task Force 1. Shortly after, they were deployed to Moore, OK, in May 2013, for one of the most destructive tornado weather ever seen in the region, including one more than a mile wide. Moxie lived up to her name throughout her life, but her determination was on full display in 2019 when she was diagnosed with cancer in her leg, forcing the limb to be amputated. While that may have been career-ending for some, Moxie and Brent trained diligently and she was soon back to full duty, successfully and cheerfully searching the rubble with three-paw drive instead of the usual four.
This incredible little girl enjoyed the last couple of years training with Brent and enjoying time at home with his family. Unfortunately, Brent began noting that Moxie was getting winded more easily during searches and began coughing in recent weeks. X-rays revealed something in her lungs and though Brent hoped it was treatable pneumonia, it was determined that cancer returned. Moxie’s health rapidly declined, and Brent had to make the difficult decision to say goodbye to his partner.
Thank you all who have supported the SDF and the HSVC in their efforts to make a difference in our community. For more information about Search Dog Foundation or to make a donation in honor of sweet Moxie, please visit searchdogfoundation.org or the HSVC website.