Rosie Red-Tracker was Will County Forest Preserve’s Bloodhound Police Dog. Last year the trustworthy and reliable hound was diagnosed with arthritis when she was nine years old. Arthritis is a debilitating joint disorder that causes severe pain and inflammation. This painful disorder prevents a dog like Rosie from fulfilling the rigorous requirements of her position as a search and rescue dog thus forced her into retirement.
Search and rescue dogs are able to do intense tracking utilizing a very valuable canine asset, their nose. Rosie was admitted into the Forest Preserve as a stable factor when the area required a dog of her status back in January of 2006. The Bloodhound was quite successful in that she tracked a man that had been missing for 17 hours. Just two months later, Rosie and her handler, Lieutenant Tracy Phillips, were called in to assist the Illinois State Police track down another missing person.
A third large case that kept Rosie in the media took place in November of 2008. That time she was a critical asset in helping to recover evidence in a Bolingbrook bank robbery. Of course there were other instances in which Rosie was required, but those three were her most famous. Thankfully none of the missing persons were on the District’s property.
Rosie was trained in North Carolina at a non-profit organization named Canines for Kids. Lieutenant Phillips was also trained there. She and Rosie became a bonded team. Together they did more than search and rescue, they did community service; training multiple school children on the benefits of a scent tracking dog.
Rosie has been and will remain with the Phillips family since her retirement. She will be able to continue her relationship with the person that she trusts and respects the most.
Fortunately for the Will County Forest Preserve, they have acquired a new tracking canine this year. This dog, Jullo, will be put into service to assist local police departments in search-and-rescue and also in narcotics detection since this is a much-needed task requirement as well.
While the District will respect the new dog and the important work it will be expected to accomplish, they will sorely miss Rosie and the great work that she fulfilled for them. They will be celebrating her service this Saturday, March 16th at a luncheon in her honor. The event is scheduled to take place at Heroes West Sports Grill at 1530 Commerce Lane in Joliet, Illinois. Hope you are able to attend!