Cadaver dogs search yard of Garrido's neighbor

Three temporary tents are set up next to a shack where authorities are digging and searching in this area next to a backyard of a home in Antioch, Calif., where authorities say kidnapped victim Jaycee Lee Dugard lived.
CAPTIONBy Paul Sakuma, APLaw enforcement from two counties and two city police departments used cadaver dogs to search a yard neighboring the couple charged with kidnapping and raping Jaycee Lee Dugard, who was held captive 18 years in Antioch, Calif., the Associated Press reports. (Here's raw video of the search.)

Unlike search and rescue dogs used to find living people, cadaver dogs are specially trained to follow the scent of decomposing human remains.

Police in nearby Pittsburg said they're investigating whether Phillip Garrido may be linked to unsolved murders of prostitutes in the '90s. Antioch police are also looking into unsolved cases but declined further details.

A search team member and dog walk the property of Crystal Sheffield, the mother of 5-year-old Haleigh Cummings, went missing from her father's home in Satsuma, Fla., in February. Officials say cadaver dogs and divers were used to search a 30-mile area.
CAPTIONBy Jon M. Fletcher, The Florida Times-Union via APSome law enforcement agencies have their own cadaver dogs, while others rely on trained volunteer teams. There's no breed requirement, but search and rescue dogs are typically the larger working and sporting varieties: German Shepherds, Labradors, Dobermans, Rottweilers, Golden Retrievers and Giant Schnauzers, according to the National Association for Search and Rescue.

Cadaver dogs can be trained to find people who died as the result of a crime or natural disaster, on land or water. This FEMA chart shows how specialties vary, even within land cadaver dogs (for instance, can they detect more or less than 15 grams of human remains?).

While this sounds like a grim job, for the dogs, it may seem like a game.

"It's fun for the dog. They want to continue to hunt," sheriff's detective April Morse told The Salt Lake Tribune for a July article on cadaver dogs.

And for the human half of the K9 teams, Morse said: "Anything to help an agency or to bring a family closure."

--By Anne Godlasky, USA TODAY

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