Utah County Sheriff's Office receives a donated bloodhound

Thursday, 28 August 2008

Joe Pyrah - Daily Herald

Sure, its floppy ears and wet nose are cute now, but you're not going to think so when you're on the run from the law in 12 months. The Utah County Sheriff's Office received a donated bloodhound on Wednesday that will be used exclusively to track people, whether criminals or lost kids.

"Genetically, those dogs are pretty much bred and used for tracking applications," said Sgt. Lane Critser, K-9 supervisor for the department.

The 8-week-old unnamed pooch is courtesy of Child Protection Education of America, a national private foundation addressing missing and exploited children.

The age is both a benefit and a drawback. It will likely be 12-18 months before she can be used officially to find people. There's also a chance that the dog simply won't take to the training and be nothing more than man's best friend.
"Normally that's why we pick up dogs that are within 2 to 3 years of age," Critser said.

But the county has eight dogs already and plenty of experience training them. Five are normal patrol dogs, one is with a special unit, and two are bomb-sniffing dogs. (Each of the full-size dogs goes through a 40-pound bag of dog food every six weeks.)
The bloodhound will be going home nightly with detective Shawn Radmall and will be getting "as much socialization as it can" in the next month or so, Radmall said. That's when the formal training begins.
When complete, the dog will be able to track in urban, rural and wilderness areas. She doesn't have a name yet, a problem that kids of the Sheriff's Office employees are working to remedy in a contest.
Why bloodhounds?

  • Renowned for their scent-tracking ability, bloodhounds have 60 times the scent power of German Shepherds.

  • Proper training only improves the breed's natural tracking abilities.

  • Scent evidence is sometimes the only evidence leading from the crime scene to the perpetrator or the victim.

  • Scent evidence is admissible in most courts of law, if the prosecution lays a proper foundation.

  • The olfactory ability of a bloodhound is more than 1 million times stronger than that of a human.

Source: Child Protection Education of America

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