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  1. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by sarx View Post
    Here's a general list broken down by state of what states have FEMA dogs
    updated January 2011
    http://www.disasterdog.org/forms/ros...er_Jan2011.pdf
    Please also note that states listed without FEMA dogs generally just fall into a wider territory. So for example, if you are in GA, NC, SC (which might not have FEMA Task teams) then dogs and handlers may exist with FEMA certifications there, they would just be grouped in with, say VA or FL or whatever was the closest task team.

    Also- in those areas many cities and counties have emergency management mobile command centers; but many do not even have that.

  2. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kimster View Post
    What is the "40 degree rule" when it comes to cadaver dogs as they are searching?
    There is no rule of thumb here; unfortunately as sarx pointed out- it all comes down to the conditions a dog has been trained under. I won't repeat sarx's post but will add an example: many military working dogs are trained in a variety of different environments, because their handlers may be deployed at any time under a very wide variety of terrain and weather conditions, ranging from Siberia or Northern Germany (very chilly!) or Iraq or Afghanistan etc- where dust storms and 100+ temps are the norm during the summer.

    Here in the States, volunteer SAR dogs are typically trained in mild, somewhat 'ideal' training weather- which is where the 40 degree 'rule' comes into play. But it is inaccurate when a dog has been trained under more rigourous and varied standards- which some professional and government entities do.

  3. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by sarx View Post
    No, I wouldn't call it normal.
    No disrespect intended- but in certain instances, it is not abnormal in my experience. If LE has a very viable lead that they feel may lead to the discovery of human remains, certain counties will call out an ME.

    And MOO, but it also matters whether or not the ME in a particular county is elected... or appointed. Kwim?

  4. #34
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    Adding another link for informational purposes of SAR dogs:
    http://www.fema.gov/emergency/usr/ca...ness_track.htm

  5. #35
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    Bringing over some questions answered by Oriah in another thread.
    Quote Originally Posted by Oriah View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Wondergirl View Post
    Bringing forward from last thread for Oriah (hope that's okay)

    Questions for HRD Dog Experts:

    1. Can human decomp be "transferred" onto an item it comes in contact with in passing? eg. A body was once on a floor. Someone removes body and cleans floor. A different person comes in and walks on the clean floor. Would the 2nd person's shoes have remnants of the decomp, from walking on the floor?

    A: Possible, but variable. In that instance, a lot would depend on what was used to clean the floor, and what kind of shoes the person was wearing. And the amount of decomp present.

    2. How much decomp is required to be on an item for the item to cause an HRD Dog to alert? Will a well trained dog alert on a minute amount?

    A: It depends on the training the dog has had. Yes, a well-trained HRD dog can alert on a very small amount of decomp.

    3. If an HRD Dog alerts in one area, and runs to another, will they continue to run to every single area decomp has come into contact with?

    A: If there are multiple locations of decomp in an area, an HRD dog should alert on the closest and most dense particle scent they are exposed to. After alerting and being released by their handler, they should proceed to the next most dense scent area and alert. Repeat, until the dog stops alerting.

    4. What is the geographical radius that an HRD Dog will alert on, once it has picked up one alert?

    A: Not sure of the question?

    5. What is the time frame that a decomp scent will remain detectable for?

    A: Human remains go through many different stages of decomp- and decomp scent depend on a lot of variables (such as environment.) HRD dogs can be trained to distinguish many different 'aged' scents. So it depends on the dog, the scent training of the dog, and the circumstances of the remains detected.

    6. Do bleach and other chemicals interfere with the HRD dogs ability to alert?

    A: Sometimes. It depends upon the density of the scent particles deposited.

    7. Will a K9 SAR dog alert, even if the missing person has not actually been in a room? For example, if the missing person A has been in contact while alive with person B, could enough of A's living scent, be transferred to person B, enough for the SAR dog to hit in B's apartment?
    A: Not likely, unless there is a transfer of a scent article(s).
    Quote Originally Posted by Oriah View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by southern_comfort View Post
    So, could a dog sense decomp coming from within an area, behind a closed door? And would he then alert at the door?
    Yes.
    If a door to a room in a home or business or whatever were closed, and on the other side of the door there were human remains- an HRD dog should first alert at the door. That is not because they are trailing or tracking- it's because they are close enough to the source of the scent they are looking for- but have encounted obstacles in alerting right at the source. If the door is opened for the dog, and remains are, say, at the opposite side of the room- the dog should alert again, right at the location of the remains.
    Quote Originally Posted by Oriah View Post
    Properly trained HRD dogs should NOT be hitting on anything other than decomp. Dirty diapers are not decomp, unless there are trace amounts of decomp ON them.
    Human remains are exactly that- remains of humans. There has to be biological human remains present for an HRD dog to alert accurately.


    That said- there would have to be trace human remains left behind (no matter the substrate) in order to have an accurate and verified hit from an HRD dog.
    above bbm
    Quote Originally Posted by Oriah View Post
    Scent articles are items taken from a missing persons belongings, that contain a large amount of scent particles, that are specific to the missing person.

    Scent articles are typically used to help a SAR K9 track or trail.

    Scent particles can be both airborn, and deposited- depending on their composition.
    Dog owners can think of it this way:

    Scenario #1:
    You take your dog for a walk. Your dog puts their head up and sniffs the air. Your dog is scenting on air particles (which are tiny gas molecules) coming from something dead. Your dog then runs over to a dead animal on the side of the road. Your dog is now scenting on deposited scent particles (which are much more dense than gas molecules.)
    Your dog has found the most dense source of that particular scent.

    Scenario #2:
    You take your dog for a walk. Your dog puts their head up and sniffs the air. Your dog is scenting on air particles (which are tiny gas molecules) coming from something alive. Your dog then takes off after a deer that has run by.
    Your dog has found the most dense source of that particular scent, and it is alive.
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  6. #36
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    Sep 2011
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    I am in need of advice on searching for a girl that has been missing for 25 years. A friend and I have been pretty much on our own in looking as the police do not believe my friend saw this girl the morning after she became missing.
    Is it even possible to get a scent on a body that has been someplace for this long?
    How do you go about locating someone that would be willing to take a chance on a long shot and go out to look with a certified dog?
    I feel it could be a matter of safety to find this body - the offender is still young and able bodied enough to hurt others. We have reason to believe he is responsible for at least 2 murders and maybe more.
    Please please please any advice would be helpful - we are simply 2 women looking to help a girl we failed to help 25 years ago. It would be great to make it up to her family and bring her home....

  7. #37
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    Hi Mainegirl and welcome to Websleuths, although I am sorry for the circumstances that have brought you here.

    Without knowing more detail about the physical circumstances of the case, it's difficult to predict whether or not an HRD dog would be useful in locating 25 yr old remains. Would you be willing to provide more info about the location, and the circumstances of the disappearance?
    That said- yes, there are scent dogs that can locate aged remains. In terms of locating one who is certified, there are several resources available to you. If you could provide general location info, I can give you some contact info.

    Again- welcome to Websleuths!


    Quote Originally Posted by mainegirl View Post
    I am in need of advice on searching for a girl that has been missing for 25 years. A friend and I have been pretty much on our own in looking as the police do not believe my friend saw this girl the morning after she became missing.
    Is it even possible to get a scent on a body that has been someplace for this long?
    How do you go about locating someone that would be willing to take a chance on a long shot and go out to look with a certified dog?
    I feel it could be a matter of safety to find this body - the offender is still young and able bodied enough to hurt others. We have reason to believe he is responsible for at least 2 murders and maybe more.
    Please please please any advice would be helpful - we are simply 2 women looking to help a girl we failed to help 25 years ago. It would be great to make it up to her family and bring her home....

  8. #38
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    How does one start the scent tracking/trailing? I am wondering because Gracie, my Newf, is getting to an age where we are in need of more challenging things to do, and I would love to explore the possibilities of cadaver/water recovery/rescue. I'm just not sure how to start, and I don't want to start down that road if she's not adept at it.

    TIA, and I love this thread!

    Best-
    Herding Cats

  9. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Herding Cats View Post
    How does one start the scent tracking/trailing? I am wondering because Gracie, my Newf, is getting to an age where we are in need of more challenging things to do, and I would love to explore the possibilities of cadaver/water recovery/rescue. I'm just not sure how to start, and I don't want to start down that road if she's not adept at it.

    TIA, and I love this thread!

    Best-
    Herding Cats
    The best thing to do is find a group (which SoCal has several) that are NASAR/FEMA certified and go and talk to them. They can help evaluate your dog, see if they have potential and then also explain the time and resource commitment to you (it is RIDICULOUSLY time consuming so first start by thinking if you have 20-25 hours a week extra to spare for a solid 18 months to 2 years for training and then 15 plus for he life of the career). If it is all good, then you generally train within the group and apprentice under someone so that you learn from those who have been doing it for a good long time! Good luck!

  10. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by sarx View Post
    The best thing to do is find a group (which SoCal has several) that are NASAR/FEMA certified and go and talk to them. They can help evaluate your dog, see if they have potential and then also explain the time and resource commitment to you (it is RIDICULOUSLY time consuming so first start by thinking if you have 20-25 hours a week extra to spare for a solid 18 months to 2 years for training and then 15 plus for he life of the career). If it is all good, then you generally train within the group and apprentice under someone so that you learn from those who have been doing it for a good long time! Good luck!
    Herding Cats,
    sarx has great advice. I just wanted to add a thought. If you find the time commitment impossible for SAR training, or the group you link up with determines that for whatever reason you or your dog might not be suited for extensive scent training- Newfies often tend to be great therapy dogs, and great 'lifeguards'. The training is much less times consuming, and for a dog that needs a little more stimulation- very rewarding for the dog.

    Anyway- if you need links to SoCal NASAR/FEMA certified teams, I will be happy to provide. Good luck!


  11. #41
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    I would love links if you have them, Oriah! I know Newfs are not the best at scenting, but I also know they love the water, and I'm looking at doing some water scenting with her. And yes, lifeguarding is wonderful, and something that we will start doing once it warms up a bit. And yes again to Therapy...she already has been started towards that, and when I work with her and socialize her, she's so accepting of everyone and everything, and just lets people love on her, gives her belly to any and everyone, and thinks kids are about as good as it gets (a toddler crawled on her belly once, and laid there. Gracie laid there right back, just grinning...with a toddler on her belly. She was in heaven!).

    Thanks for the advice and help, you two. I am definitely interested, and while the time would be somewhat difficult, it still may be doable. So if you could send me a link, that would simply rock.

    Best-
    Herding Cats

  12. #42
    Why do some dogs pick up things that other dog may miss? How do they train a dog to detect and find earthquake victims? Thats gotta be the hardest type of training for any dog.

    Btw, thanks for all the great links. I've learned a lot.

  13. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tilmylastbreath View Post
    Why do some dogs pick up things that other dog may miss? How do they train a dog to detect and find earthquake victims? Thats gotta be the hardest type of training for any dog.

    Btw, thanks for all the great links. I've learned a lot.
    .

    That is certainly the question we would all love to know the answer to, lol.
    Training, handler ability, circumstances, good day, bad day, changing conditions, you name it, it all comes into play.

    Scent it scent (ok, don't take that too literally), they're still looking for a live or deceased person, so the nose part is the same. The difference really becomes in the type of terrain (that being rubble in this case), the buried factor etc.

    These 2 topics could have books written about them, so hope I answered the question generally speaking enough to get an idea anyways. Don't want to totally overwhelm.

  14. #44
    and i appreciate that... *HUGE grin* and i get it, lots of variables lol. Thank you. Can they hear movement underground? Is that one of the things they are trained in? and how do they train a dog to listen so well?

  15. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tilmylastbreath View Post
    and i appreciate that... *HUGE grin* and i get it, lots of variables lol. Thank you. Can they hear movement underground? Is that one of the things they are trained in? and how do they train a dog to listen so well?
    For those interested Shirley Hammond wrote a book on how disaster dogs are trained. It's a time consuming process where the same behavior is reinforced over and over again until its automatic. Yes, dogs can hear some movement underground but normally can't under these circumstances due to all the above ground noise and activity.

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