Giving thanks for life-saving teamwork

Staff Reports

Denise Corliss’ desire to become a canine search specialist emerged from a dark and scary place.

More than two decades ago, she volunteered to play the victim in a disaster drill. Buried securely under 10 foot of rubble, she waited for several hours to be rescued by a canine in training.

“I remember hearing the panting of the dog and it getting louder and louder and as that was happening I was getting more and more excited and suddenly the dog started barking because they had found me,” she said. “I remember thinking to myself, ‘My God, this is what must it feel like for a victim for real in these disaster environments.’ From there I was hooked. I decided this is what I wanted to do.”

Corliss, a manager in Williams’ Houston office, went on to become a canine search specialist with Texas A&M Task Force One. Her first deployment was to the World Trade Center site after the 9-11 terror attacks.

She’s trained and certified three dogs, including Taser, her current canine partner.

Learn more about this life-saving duo in this video.