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Fire and Rescue

Posted on: February 4, 2022

Famous Accelerant Detection Canine Dolley Retires

Dolley Retirement NG 2022

            The Loudoun County Combined Fire and Rescue System’s (LC-CFRS) Accelerant Detection Canine Dolley has retired and was honored for her service with an official proclamation at Tuesday’s Loudoun County Board of Supervisors meeting. Loudoun County supervisors and Chair Phyllis Randall paid tribute to Dolley and handler Captain “William Bud” Herndon and welcomed Herndon’s new canine Bali.

            Dolley served Loudoun County for just over 7 years, from April 2014 until October 25, 2021. Besides her daily work experience and contribution to the Loudoun County Fire and Rescue Fire Marshal’s Office, Dolley is most famously known for being featured in a National Geographic Doggy Defenders children’s book titled “Dolley the Fire Dog,” which is sold around the world to educate children on fire safety concepts through a “day in the life” perspective.

            During her service with LC-CFRS, Dolley worked 126 fire scenes out of the Fire Marshal’s Office with her handler, Captain Bud Herndon. Her work has ranged from open area searches to commercial buildings and everything in between. Dolley and Captain Herndon have deployed on two National Response Team callouts and assisted federal, state, and local agencies in Maryland, Virginia, and West Virginia.  

            One of her more notable criminal cases was when she assisted the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF) with solving a 15-year arson spree that took place in two states and involved 27 fires. Dolley’s alerts helped provide the evidence needed to convict the arsonist, who is now serving a 40-year prison sentence.  

            Unfortunately, Dolley has reached the end of her career as an accelerant detection canine and will be greatly missed by LC-CFRS and the citizens of Loudoun County. She will enjoy her retirement continuing to live with Captain Herndon and his family.  She will miss the daily interactions with the citizens and guests of Loudoun County. “Canine Dolley was always eager to go to work and her presence will be missed by all that know her,” stated Fire Chief Keith Johnson. 

            Following Dolley’s retirement on October 25, 2021, Captain Herndon started the ATF’s Accelerant Detection Canine School with LC-CFRS’s new accelerant detection canine Bali. Bali is a female yellow Labrador Retriever that was born on January 19, 2020. She was raised by the Guide Dog Foundation prior to her selection by the ATF to be trained as an accelerant detection canine. “We are excited to welcome canine Bali and see all that her handler, Captain Bud Herndon, and her will accomplish during her service to the Loudoun County Combined Fire and Rescue System and the citizens of Loudoun County.” Said Chief Johnson.

            Bali graduated with Captain Herndon along with seven other canines on December 3, 2021, and is now serving the citizens of Loudoun County. Bali and Captain Bud Herndon are one of only 68 ATF accelerant detection canine teams nationwide. Bali is the fifth accelerant detection canine deployed by the LC-CFRS’ Fire Marshal’s Office. The preceding canines were Nikki, Onyx, Jimmy, and Dolley. Learn more about our canine team assigned to the LC-CFRS Fire Marshal’s Office at   


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