SIU professor, dog help with rescue efforts in Houston


MARION, IL – A Southern Illinois University Carbondale professor and her canine partner Zorro are risking their lives to help rescue people in Houston, Texas, part of the area hit hard by

hurricane Harvey.

Dr. Erin Perry has been a canine handler with the Department of Homeland Security for 14 years. She and Zorro were deployed to Texas on Thursday night. She’s witnessing the devastation first hand.

“The flooding that they’re seeing here is absolutely unprecedented. The amount of people that are being rescued, the scale of the humanity that’s impacted here, is truly mind boggling,” said Perry.

Perry said she and Zorro have been involved in hundreds of rescue missions already.

“We have survivors that are trapped under the debris, so the dogs can go in and locate people that may be buried that we are not able to see from the surface,” said Perry.

The fact that she gets to help people in need makes the danger and her sacrifices worth it to her.

“It’s very stressful. It’s very demanding. It takes me away from my family. At the end of the day, we all have to give in whatever way that we can. This is the way I’m able to give and help people in need,” said Perry.

Perry said she is not leaving until the work in Houston is done. Zorro is Perry’s third canine partner. She said that he is doing a great job in Houston.

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