Dog Overcomes His Disease, Wins National Search And Rescue Award

JP search and rescue

JoePete is an 8 year old Doberman with a passion for helping others. Despite the difficulties of dealing with a chronic disease, he continues to push through every single day.

Cris Bean recognized JP’s impressive knowledge when she adopted him back in 2010. It’s when JP began the human remains training program that his skills truly began to shine. He progressed so quickly in his training, that it was clear that he would be something great.

JP search and rescue

Cris Bean and JP now volunteer with the Michigan Search and Rescue organization, where they work together to find missing persons and human remains. Though their job can be quite challenging, they take comfort in the fact that they help bring closure to distraught families. They have participated in a total of 29 missing person searches.

In this last year, JP was sadly diagnosed with early Wobblers disease. Wobblers disease is a condition common in Dobermans, that affects the cervical spine. Dog with this disease often experience  an unsteady gait, leg weakness and neck pain. As these dogs get older, the disease usually progresses to the point of losing their ability to walk.

jp search and rescue

Since Wobblers is so debilitating, it often ends a service dog’s career. Cris has vowed to let JP continue the work that he loves, at least until it ever becomes uncomfortable for him to continue. Until then, she will be by his side every step of the way!

Due to his years of wonderful work and his successful search and rescue projects, he was just honored with the “Award for Canine Excellence” in the search and rescue category. He even earned his AKC Canine Good Citizen certification and has become a certified therapy dog through the Alliance of Therapy Dogs.

Officials say he was chosen for the award because, despite his battle with Wobblers, his strength and his passion for his work always shines through.

jp search and rescue

“JoePete is also an ambassador in his community, participating in educational demonstrations with children, adults and individuals with special needs. JoePete and his owner, Cris Bean, are a dynamic search and rescue team and have contributed immensely in their community.” – AKC officials.

We are so impressed by JP’s incredible work, and know that he and his fur mom will continue to change lives in their community. Thanks for your service JP!


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