Stella, a rambunctious and spirited Labrador retriever mix who is just over a year old, has been adopted and returned to the Humane Society of Broward County more than once, because her adopters could not keep up with her and her determined boundless energy.

Stella 572565

At the Humane Society of Broward County, volunteers spend time walking and interacting with the animals. One such volunteer is Sabrina, a teen volunteer who noticed Stella was obsessed with tennis balls and could play for what seemed like forever. Sabrina did some research and thought Stella would make a good search and rescue dog.

Here is footage of Stella at the HSBC playing with her tennis ball, her preliminary testing in Davie and a short interview with Sabrina and a photo of Sabrina, the HSBC teen volunteer who saw potential in Stella.

HSBC shelter staff reached out to the National Disaster Search Foundation, a non-profit organization in California whose mission is to strengthen disaster response in America by recruiting rescued dogs and partnering them with firefighters and other first responders to find people buried alive in the wreckage of disasters.

An evaluator from the foundation came and met Stella at the Humane Society of Broward County and was impressed with her drive and high energy. Next Stella went to the Broward Fire Academy in Davie where she did some preliminary tests in a concrete rubble field to try and find a tennis ball. She also walked across a ladder with no hesitation. Video was taken of Stella in action and then sent to California where it was reviewed by trainers from the Foundation.

Stella has been accepted into the program for Search and Rescue training and will be leaving on Thursday morning at 6:15 AM for California where she will undergo eight to ten months of professional training before being teamed with a handler.

According to Cherie Wachter, HSBC spokesperson, “The HSBC shelter staff and Sabrina, our teen volunteer, are thrilled that Stella has been accepted into this incredible program and are confident that she will go on to do amazing things.”

To learn more about National Disaster Search Foundation, please visit

# # #

Did you like this article? Subscribe to our blog for a weekly digest of shelter news. You can also read our print publications, view our videos, and access our guides and other resources for more information.
Click Here to Subscribe


The Humane Society of Broward County is proud to be a Purina Shelter Champions Partner.

The Humane Society of Broward County: Advocating for and improving the lives of animals by providing adoptions, community services, and education.

© Copyright 2018 Humane Society of Broward County | Privacy Policy