Maine is home to one of the most important training sites in the country for law enforcement canines.
That’s according to the people who pay for all of it.
State Farm Insurance has been funding arson dog purchasing and training since 1993. Heather Paul, the company's national arson dog program coordinator, said the average residential house fire costs them $45,000 to insure. Each accelerant-detecting canine costs about $25,000 to buy and train. As they try to catch and deter insurance fraud, it's easy math to comprehend.
"Arson is one of the most difficult crimes to solve," Paul explained. "The evidence burns up. It's a dirty, smelly environment. And, as a human, we don't have that superpower sense of smell."
She added that the dogs are equally useful for ruling out arson as the cause of a fire.