The state fire marshal’s office is mourning a retired K-9 officer’s death due to a tumor.
Monty, a 12-year-old golden Labrador who joined the state fire marshal in 2021, died July 5, 2022.
Monty served all across the state, but primarily in south Louisiana, alongside his handler Lt. Brian Mashon. He retired in July 2020, according to a spokesperson.
Monty assisted in determining the origin and cause of numerous fires, including suspected arson fires where his alerts led to evidence that resulted in arrests.
A few of his most notable cases included 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 earned the Alcohol Tabbaco Firearm’s (ATF) Top Dog award, beating out nearly 60 other dogs from across the country.
Monty began his career of service as a guide dog for the visually impaired with the Guiding Eyes Foundation in New York. Later he became certified as an accelerant detection K-9 through ATF Bureau and came to work for the State Fire Marshal’s Office.
“Monty was my friend, buddy, and partner,” said Lt. Mashon, “I am going to miss him until we meet again.”
“Monty was a special dog and contributed so much to the success of this agency, not only in crime-solving but in our public education efforts, both of which saved lives,” said State Fire Marshal Chief Dan Wallis, “Monty will be greatly missed and always remembered for his stellar service to the people of Louisiana.”