Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Underutilized Resource

With thousands of persons in this country going missing each year it is unsettling to see how many times the mantrailing Bloodhound is not utilized. Some law enforcement agencies have "trailing" K-9's as a resource but so often they do not and the K-9 that is used is a police K-9 that usually has been trained to be a patrol dog. To use this type of dog to trail a victim many hours after they went missing would be like trying to use a Bloodhound as a patrol dog. The Bloodhound that has been trained in mantrailing is widely known as the best breed for the job. When a life is at stake all qualified resources should be used. Yet it seems the oft forgotten K-9 in law enforcement is the mantrailing Bloodhound.

With many "private" K-9 search and rescue organizations deploying trained mantrailing Bloodhounds and offering their services free of charge, why is this resource often ignored when a person goes missing? While politics does enter into this, I submit it is a lack of education as to what this resource is capable of doing. This is the reason for this blog - to stimulate discussions, opinions and most of all, knowledge and education on this subject.

In the recent past, we had a mother of two children who went missing before the holidays. While the local K-9 search and rescue organization offered it's services to local law enforcement, it's services where not utilized. <<She was later found murdered and left beside the freeway>> and no one knows whether trained Bloodhounds could have assisted in the search to find her. No one will ever know as these resources were ignored.

Hopefully this blog will stimulate lively comments and discussions that will lead to a better understanding of this underutilized resource. If it can, then just maybe this awareness will have an impact on those that are responsible for utilizing every resource possible to locate people who go missing in this country. Just as the Amber Alert network is a wonderful resource, so is the properly trained trailing dog, and the breed that meets this task the best is the Bloodhound.

This web site is dedicated to Julia Dawson's memory.

Lindy


News Flash - Julia Dawson's husband Tim Dawson was found guilty of her murder on July 6th 2008 in a Grand Rapids, Michigan Court of Law!

Finally the family of Julia Dawson has some closure.

17 Comments:

At 3:36 PM, Blogger Sari7475 said...

I completely agree that Bloodhounds are totally underutilized and underestimated. What a shame that the incredible services these dogs can provide is not taken advantage of! After all the service is free and why not use all the resources available in such urgent and time sensitive situations. So many lives could be saved.

 
At 9:41 PM, Blogger Lindy said...

It is very hard when timing can mean everything in possibly saving a life and then not to be called out.

Two nights ago we were called out by the local police to attempt to find a 39 year old mentally challenged male who had disappeared from an adult care facility in Stanton. Three Bloodhounds and one GSD were run separately and had to work through his scent being all over the area as he walked every day. Each ended up followed his scent down to an intersection giving us pretty good indication that he was either in a car or picked up by a car. Upon our return to the adult care facility the missing person's relative drove up with him in their car. They apparently picked him up and didn't sign him out or tell anyone. A good conclusion. The Bloodhounds did give us a clear picture that he had not gone into the woods that ran next to the facility. Every little bit of information helps. It was cold and snowy last night and this could have had a very sad ending. It's good even when the call-out is a false alarm and our group simply looks at it as good practice. Nine team members where at this call-out and, of course, there is never a charge. Why wouldn't this free resource be utilized. People just don't know it is available. Happily, the Stanton Police Department does know of the resource and the part the Bloodhounds and other trailing/air scenting K-9's can play in possibly saving a life.

 
At 3:01 PM, Blogger Lindy said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 12:50 PM, Blogger Tank said...

I agree that the important thing to do is to try to increase public awareness of what these dogs can actually do. My wife and I have raised Bloodhounds for 10 years and are constantly amazed at their tracking abilities. We have placed some of our dogs with people and organizations that use them for tracking and they have sucessfully found and saved people that otherwise might not have been found. We have taken some of our own pet Bloodhounds out on a trail for the very first time, with no training at all, and were amazed the way they can follow trails. The question here is how do we increase public awareness! Ron, I think you have taken a giant step to get this done, so let us know what we can do to help. I tend to use the phone to get things done, so maybe I could at least make some calls to local law enforcement agencies and let them know that this source is available. Tank.

 
At 1:07 PM, Blogger Lindy said...

Tank,

Thanks for supportive comments. Hopefully this Bloodhound Scents blog can be a place where interested members of the public and law enforcement/emergency organizations can come to relate and learn from what is posted. It's just great when people like you, who know what Bloodhounds can and love to do, leave comments based on your experiences.

I am hoping to have a section where actual "search experineces" can be posted by people visiting this site. Keep checking back from time to time as Bloodhound Scents will be an ever changing scene based on people's comments and experiences.

Lindy

 
At 1:13 PM, Blogger Tank said...

How can we let people know how to find this website? If you hadn't let me know personnaly, I wouldn't have found it! Tank.

 
At 4:22 PM, Blogger Lindy said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 11:10 PM, Blogger Lindy said...

I am truly open to all ideas. Because this blog is only a week old it's presence is not well known, I'm sure. I continue to investigate how to not only bring "Bloodhound Scents" to the attention of more people, but how to get more participation and dialog. Again, any ideas will greatly be appreciated by this new blogger.

 
At 10:33 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great presentation! To get an idea of our organization, please go to www.deputydogs.org. As you'll see, many of your sentiments are echoed in our mission statement.

Angela

 
At 10:49 AM, Blogger Lindy said...

Angela,

Thank you for letting me know we are on the right track...no pun intended. The great things you do in breeding and training Bloodhounds for law enforcement through your non-profit organization and the Kody Snodgrass Memorial Foundation is to be commended. Your web site is one of the best Bloodhound sites I have seen and I am recommending it highly to anyone who has a warm spot in their heart for these noble, loveable creatures and the abilites they offer us. Just a click away....
Deputy DogsThank you for what you do.

Lindy

 
At 6:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bloodhound, it has been used many times as an adjective to describe someone or something that will not waver from a laid out path. Even though I’ve probably used the term that way myself, I’ve never appreciated the concept until I witnessed the unbelievable talents of the Bloodhound first hand.
My cousin, Ron has a Bloodhound by the name of Kali. I was given a demonstration of Kali’s amazing powers one day when Ron had me rub a paper towel over my skin. He then took the paper towel and burned it until only a small pile of ashes remained. I took off through the woods and laid a winding trail over tall grass, gravel, and dirt, culminating behind a large tree. I took another route in the opposite direction back to the house and went out for lunch with Ron. About two hours later we returned to the house where I took my place behind the large tree. My original trail was two hours old. Ron gave Kali a sniff of the paper towel's burned ashes and told her to find me. With the ashes being the only thing she had to go on, Kali took off following my scent. With-in a short period of time I could see Kali’s nose finding my exact trail of foot steps leading her to my very spot. She identified her find by jumping up on me. If she could say, “I got you, “ she would have.
Ron travels the country going to training seminars and working with Kali to become the best trackers they can be. He does this at his own expense. Ron and Kali are a team. They are devoted to helping those who are in need of Kali’s talents. What a real shame it is, not to take full advantage of such an unselfish pair.
Alan Vandever

 
At 10:50 AM, Blogger Lindy said...

Thanks Al for that very nice testimonial. Actually, that trail you laid and Kali ran, was quit an easy one. Come over sometime and observe one of Mid-Michigan Working Dogs' training exercises. You will see some real interesting scenarios that the Bloodhounds and the German Shepherds will be presented with to work out successfully. It doesn't happen all the time but that's why we continually practice with the dog teams...so that we get that consistency. That's what we require before a team is approved to be operational for a real incident/callout.

 
At 10:52 AM, Blogger victoramorales said...

In El Paso there was the case where an Alzhiemers patient had wandered off from the waiting area that he was supposed to have stayed for his family to pick him up. When they came and discovered him missing the Hospital staff called security. They could not locate him. They notified the MP's.... they could not locate him on hospital grounds ( this is a Military Hospital ) They had the family notify the city police....the family also posted pictures around the neighborhood. This was a friday. They searched over the weekend. They thought both the city and the MP's were still searching during the weekend. Unfortunately neither was due to some confusion as to who had jurisdiction. That Monday when the family discovered the mixup....someone requested the services of the La Tuna tracking bloodhound (federal penetentiary)...the Bloodhound was on the trail and found the subject within 45 minutes ( a four day old scent )...unfortunately he had passed away from exposure this was a January or February time frame. Don't exactly remember. I wish that they had requested the Bloodhound services from the beginning surely this tragedy would have been prevented.

 
At 2:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for your comments on this sad scenario that can happen more than it should. Education of L.E. and the public on what a well trained Bloodhound can do seems to be a key in getting the Bloodhound called in, not only earlier, but just getting called in at all. We have found in our county that educating L.E. and then having some successful searches leads to the Bloodhound being called in earlier.

Thanks again.

Lindy

 
At 12:02 PM, Blogger Lindy said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 4:54 PM, Anonymous Bill said...

I am on a metro police department and have a bloodhound that is certified with the National Police Bloodhound Assc. The dept. has constantly refused to call or wait several hours before calling. The missing person's unit has personal reasons for not utilizing the dog's talents. Do you know of any civil liability cases filed as a result of a dept. not utilizing a bloodhound that was available?

 
At 12:23 PM, Anonymous Lindy said...

I am aware of other law enforcement Bloodhound handlers that have experienced the same frustrations. I currently am not aware of any litigation in this area. With this said, I still believe the key is educating various law enforcement agencies on how this resource can be utilized as yet another tool they can use that will not compromise there efforts but can enhance their ability in finding a missing person. Then after that, getting the opportunity to have your dog team used. My experience is that once a dog team is successful, this resource starts to get priority.

 

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