A two-year-old black Labrador named Sowell is Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services’ newest fire investigation unit member

Information shared by Howard County Government today on Facebook:

Meet Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services‘ newest fire investigation unit member, Sowell (pronounced so-well). A two-year-old black Labrador, Sowell is an arson accelerant detection canine. He his handler, Lieutenant Craig Matthews, recently completed a five-week accelerant-detection school sponsored by State Farm Insurance. Together, Sowell and Lt. Matthews are required to respond to a minimum of 50 fires a year, where the cause of the fire is suspicious or undetermined. As there are only a handful of accelerant-detection canines teams in the region, Howard County’s team may be requested to respond to fire scenes in Baltimore, Washington, D.C. and as far away as Western Maryland.

Sowell was officially sworn into duty and badged in a ceremony earlier today.


Here are some of the public posts I saw on this today:

Scott E

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