Liz Baumgartner adopted Pax from the Davis County Animal Shelter on August 5th , 2011. As a 3-year old adult black male mix-breed dog, his outlook was not too sunny. She began training cadaver work with this Border collie/ Boxer mix the day Liz brought him home. In a little over a year, Pax was certified for Human Remains Detection with NASAR (National Association of Search and Rescue).
In August of 2013 FEMA adopted Human Remain Detection standards into its canine program that had historically only been for Live-Find dog and handler teams. Liz had been training Pax all year to meet those testing standards, and so in Novemeber 2013 he became the first of 2 FEMA ceritfied Human Remains Detection dogs in Utah. He was officially a member of Utah Task Force-1 (Salt Lake Urban Search and Rescue).
On March 22, 2014 a large mudslide occurred near Oso, Washington scarring 1.3 square miles, destroying homes and covering the area with 15 to 20 feet of mud and debris. 43 people were missing and presumed dead. Pax and Liz received their activation order on April 2, 2014 to help search for those people. The weather and conditions were extremely wet, and they searched constantly being sucked into the claylike mud. At the conclusion of operations, all 43 persons were identified.
On May 5th, 2014 Pax had just finished a successful training scenario. When he went for his reward toy, he injured his spinal cord leaving him paralyzed from his waist down. After a full year of rehab he had not regained full use of his back legs. His heart is still in searching even though his body cannot meet the rigors of the extreme conditions disasters pose.