BATON ROUGE – The State Fire Marshal’s Office is recognizing one of its K-9 officers for almost a decade of dedicated service to the people of Louisiana as he heads into retirement.
Monty, a 10-year-old golden Labrador who joined the SFM in 2012, officially retires from service today.
K-9 Monty has served all across the state, but primarily in south Louisiana, alongside his handler Lt. Brian Mashon. Monty has assisted in determining the origin and cause of numerous fires, including suspected arson fires where his alerts led to evidence that resulted in arrests.
Some of his most notable cases include a suspicious fatal fire in St. Helena Parish, an intentionally set fire at an occupied apartment complex in Slidell where children had to be rescued and the 2019 St. Landry church fires where Monty’s skills led investigators to discover the gas can used in one of the fires, which helped identify the suspect, and eventually connected that suspect to all three fires.
In 2017, Monty beat out almost 60 other K-9s from across the country to receive the ATF’s Top Dog award.
Monty actually began his career of service as a guide dog for the visually impaired with the Guiding Eyes Foundation in New York. He was eventually certified as an accelerant detection K-9 through the Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms (ATF) Bureau and came to work for the State Fire Marshal’s Office (SFM).
Monty is a friend to all other animals and enjoys cuddle time with his handler family who he will stay with throughout his retirement.
“Monty has been an integral part of the success of this agency, not only in crime solving but in our public education efforts, both of which have saved lives,” said State Fire Marshal Chief H. “Butch” Browning, “We wish Monty a restful and playful retirement and we thank him for his service to this state and its citizens.”