Dogs trained to help sniff out clues in unsolved cases

SAN ANTONIO -- Trained dogs play a big part in police and deputy work by helping track down suspects and find bodies.

This week, dog handlers from across the country were in San Antonio to get their dogs certified.

News 4 WOAI's Kristina De Leon found out that some of the dogs are helping out in San Antonio's most high profile cases. The training is all fun for the dogs. But it is important work for the humans that handle them as well as for the public.

Experts say a dog's nose is much more sensitive than a human's and and does most of the job.

"That allows them to search things that we would be able to search with their eyes," Christy Bormann.

Christy was on standby with her dog "Cody" for a trip to Haiti, but wasn't needed afterall. Dog "Remi" has been at the Tessman landfill for days helping to search for missing baby Gabriel Johnson.

"It's tough on the dogs. It's a lot of sensory overload for them. Uh, the trash smells and the gases that are coming from that trash is a lot for them to take in," explained canine search speciailist Erin Gillenwaters. "But they've been doing really well. We've been able to work through it."

Gillenwaters said the dogs will stay out until something is found.

"We just, you know, that we're able to find the missing person and bring closure to the family," added Gillenwaters.

Dog "Chopper" helped in the search last week at Canyon Lake, when the body of missing boater Scott Freund was found.

News 4 WOAI wanted to see how the dogs worked, so we put "Cody" to the test. Within 16 seconds, Cody found Kristina De Leon's hiding in a closet and alerted the trainer right away.

The training lasts through Thursday is conducted by the Bexar County Sheriff's Office.

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