AKC Award for Canine Excellence (ACE)

Snowflower Maine Topper, CDX, FEMA Type 1, Wilderness SAR

Owned by Pat Grant, DVM.

Topper was awarded the 2002 ACE (AKC Award for Canine Excellence) in Search and Rescue and the 2002 American Belgian Tervuren Club President’s Award.

Topper joined the FEMA Urban Search and Rescue (US&R) Task Force as a Type-1 disaster dog in 1993. Topper began his US&R career at the site of the Oklahoma City bombing, being the first FEMA dog deployed on the rubble of the Murrah Building. His special skills were also invaluable at a very different sort of disaster site, the massive Yosemite rock fall of 1996. Topper’s last US&R assignment was Ground Zero at the World Trade Center site in New York. His owner, Pat Grant, says, “As one of the most experienced FEMA dogs responding, Topper again gave generously of his mature confidence and enthusiasm to help bring closure to a terrible tragedy.” On site, it’s not unusual to see dispirited firefighters and rescuers being comforted by this gentle and majestic co-worker.

Topper is a certified wilderness-search dog and has participated in many local manhunts and missing-persons rescues. Between assignments, the hard-working Terv has logged hundreds of hours in training for what Grant calls “Topper’s great game: finding the ‘hiding’ person.”

The American Belgian Tervuren Club has recognized this magnificent representative of the breed by including his picture in the “Personality and Temperament” section of their judges’ education Web pages.