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  1. #1

    The Dogs & the Scent Trails

    We have been discussing the outcome of the tracking dogs and if there have been hits on Lindsey's scent from the scene or other places. This thread is to report and discuss any findings from the dogs.

    Tracking dogs, Bloodhounds, Search and Rescue dogs, or by any other name are trained to follow the scent from the person either by an article last worn, bedding, or other means used to give the dogs their target scent. We also need to include cadaver dogs here. They are the most specially trained dogs who can detect human decomposition on land or in the water.

    One thing we have to remember is the dog is only as good as the training and handler in any case.

    Let's "sniff" this out about the question where the dogs tracked her or did not hit so we can get to the possibilities surrounding Lindsey's disappearance. We don't have much except tid bits from LE and the media to go on, but if we keep "track" of them all...maybe we can find something there.
    "WE SEEK FOR THE TRUTH. WE SEEK JUSTICE.
    THE COURTS REQUIRE IT. THE VICTIMS CRY FOR IT
    AND GOD DEMANDS IT!"

    A quote spray painted on the wall by search
    and rescue workers, Team 5, at the OKC Bombing site 4-19-1995.



    What I post are my opinions only.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by SeriouslySearching View Post
    We have been discussing the outcome of the tracking dogs and if there have been hits on Lindsey's scent from the scene or other places. This thread is to report and discuss any findings from the dogs.

    Tracking dogs, Bloodhounds, Search and Rescue dogs, or by any other name are trained to follow the scent from the person either by an article last worn, bedding, or other means used to give the dogs their target scent. We also need to include cadaver dogs here. They are the most specially trained dogs who can detect human decomposition on land or in the water.

    One thing we have to remember is the dog is only as good as the training and handler in any case.

    Let's "sniff" this out about the question where the dogs tracked her or did not hit so we can get to the possibilities surrounding Lindsey's disappearance. We don't have much except tid bits from LE and the media to go on, but if we keep "track" of them all...maybe we can find something there.
    Thanks for the OP SS ;}

    A poster told us there were 3 important things in successful tracking by a sniffer dog. Do you remember what they were?

    The last one was one I had never heard before, that a dog need an uninterupted trail to follow to sniff the scent. Hope that is the right word. For the life of me I'm trying to remember who posted that! Maybe Elphere??? Norm???

  3. #3
    I found this to be an informative site on SAR/Cadaver dogs:

    http://animals.howstuffworks.com/ani....htm/printable

    In response to your question, Scandi...I did find the 3 things needed! (See red print below):

    SAR Specialties

    Not all SAR dogs perform the same type of search. Some dogs are tracking (or trailing) dogs, and others are air-scent (or area-search) dogs. The types overlap, but the distinction between the two guides are the training process and how the dog participates in missions. Tracking dogs work with their nose to the ground. They follow a trail of human scent -- typically heavy skin particles that fall quickly to the ground or onto bushes -- through any type of terrain. These dogs are not searching, they're following: Tracking dogs need a "last seen" starting point, an article with the person's scent on it to work from and an uncontaminated trail.

    ~Snip~

    Air-scent dogs, on the other hand, work with their nose in the air. They pick up human scent anywhere in the vicinity -- they don't need a "last seen" starting point, an article to work from or a scent trail, and time is not an issue. Whereas tracking dogs follow a particular scent trail, air-scent dogs pick up a scent carried in air currents and seek out its origin -- the point of greatest concentration.

    ~Snip~

    Cadaver and water-search dogs are the only types specifically trained to scent for human remains, although all SAR dogs will alert to remains if they find them. In major disasters like the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995, the collapse of the World Trade Center in 2001 and the 2005 earthquake in Pakistan, air-scent dogs in all specialty areas assisted in the search for survivors. This actually led to problems for some of the dogs, because SAR dogs trained to find living people can become discouraged when they find only dead bodies. The dogs understand that live finds are preferable, partly due to their training, partly due to the reactions of their handler and partly because live people can usually give some form of feedback -- and the dogs crave feedback. At Oklahoma City and Ground Zero, handlers and firefighters hid in the rubble to give the dogs a living person to find so they could feel successful and get their reward.

    http://animals.howstuffworks.com/ani....htm/printable BBM

    Awwww. I didn't know that about the OKC Bombing SAR dogs. I learn something new and wonderful all the time about those firemen, handlers, and searchers. Bless them for the job they do.
    Last edited by SeriouslySearching; 07-19-2009 at 02:26 AM.
    "WE SEEK FOR THE TRUTH. WE SEEK JUSTICE.
    THE COURTS REQUIRE IT. THE VICTIMS CRY FOR IT
    AND GOD DEMANDS IT!"

    A quote spray painted on the wall by search
    and rescue workers, Team 5, at the OKC Bombing site 4-19-1995.



    What I post are my opinions only.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by cyberswept View Post
    From an article in the East County News (The Daily World).
    [Searchers made a "big push" July 6, Undersheriff Scott said, re-canvasing outlying areas of town and the nearby Off-Road Vehicle Park (ORV Park). They hoped new moisture on the ground would help bring out faint scents, but discovered no new trails.]

    Now you can take that how you want, but it does seem to indicate there was some scent trail at some point.
    Quote Originally Posted by DotsEyes View Post
    Did the dogs pick up a scent and lose it or was there no scent trail at all?
    It is my understanding there was no scent trail. They did make the comment her scent was "fading" at the park and other places she frequented. This tells me they did pick up her scent in those areas, but to my knowledge...the dogs cannot tell them when she left that scent. Hmmm...I wonder if that could be the last place she was really located?

    ETA: I could be mistaken on no scent trail at all near where she was last seen.
    "WE SEEK FOR THE TRUTH. WE SEEK JUSTICE.
    THE COURTS REQUIRE IT. THE VICTIMS CRY FOR IT
    AND GOD DEMANDS IT!"

    A quote spray painted on the wall by search
    and rescue workers, Team 5, at the OKC Bombing site 4-19-1995.



    What I post are my opinions only.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by SeriouslySearching View Post
    We have been discussing the outcome of the tracking dogs and if there have been hits on Lindsey's scent from the scene or other places. This thread is to report and discuss any findings from the dogs.

    Tracking dogs, Bloodhounds, Search and Rescue dogs, or by any other name are trained to follow the scent from the person either by an article last worn, bedding, or other means used to give the dogs their target scent. We also need to include cadaver dogs here. They are the most specially trained dogs who can detect human decomposition on land or in the water.

    One thing we have to remember is the dog is only as good as the training and handler in any case.

    Let's "sniff" this out about the question where the dogs tracked her or did not hit so we can get to the possibilities surrounding Lindsey's disappearance. We don't have much except tid bits from LE and the media to go on, but if we keep "track" of them all...maybe we can find something there.
    Quote Originally Posted by SeriouslySearching View Post
    I found this to be an informative site on SAR/Cadaver dogs:

    http://animals.howstuffworks.com/ani....htm/printable

    In response to your question, Scandi...I did find the 3 things needed! (See red print below):

    SAR Specialties

    Not all SAR dogs perform the same type of search. Some dogs are tracking (or trailing) dogs, and others are air-scent (or area-search) dogs. The types overlap, but the distinction between the two guides are the training process and how the dog participates in missions. Tracking dogs work with their nose to the ground. They follow a trail of human scent -- typically heavy skin particles that fall quickly to the ground or onto bushes -- through any type of terrain. These dogs are not searching, they're following: Tracking dogs need a "last seen" starting point, an article with the person's scent on it to work from and an uncontaminated trail.

    ~Snip~

    Air-scent dogs, on the other hand, work with their nose in the air. They pick up human scent anywhere in the vicinity -- they don't need a "last seen" starting point, an article to work from or a scent trail, and time is not an issue. Whereas tracking dogs follow a particular scent trail, air-scent dogs pick up a scent carried in air currents and seek out its origin -- the point of greatest concentration.

    ~Snip~

    Cadaver and water-search dogs are the only types specifically trained to scent for human remains, although all SAR dogs will alert to remains if they find them. In major disasters like the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995, the collapse of the World Trade Center in 2001 and the 2005 earthquake in Pakistan, air-scent dogs in all specialty areas assisted in the search for survivors. This actually led to problems for some of the dogs, because SAR dogs trained to find living people can become discouraged when they find only dead bodies. The dogs understand that live finds are preferable, partly due to their training, partly due to the reactions of their handler and partly because live people can usually give some form of feedback -- and the dogs crave feedback. At Oklahoma City and Ground Zero, handlers and firefighters hid in the rubble to give the dogs a living person to find so they could feel successful and get their reward.

    http://animals.howstuffworks.com/ani....htm/printable BBM

    Awwww. I didn't know that about the OKC Bombing SAR dogs. I learn something new and wonderful all the time about those firemen, handlers, and searchers. Bless them for the job they do.
    Thanks so much for that info SS. You are a Now it won't get lost and posters ask questions about these points all the time. There is a lot of valuable info there.

    Interesting about the Ground Zero and OKC SAR dogs. It wasn't till about a month or so ago I learned that the dogs used at Ground Zero were trained in sniffing both live and dead bodies. That is quite unusual from what I had learned before. I had heard about Keela the blood dog from England who is able to sniff blood either from a corpse or a live person and differentiate between the two. They say she is one of a kind, right up there with the very best. Her partner Eddie has been correct in 200 searches for Human Recovery. Also one of the most remarkable in the world. They both had an exceptional trainer and handler. xox

  6. #6
    Now we need to find all the articles and videos about the dogs on Lindsey's case and where they tracked her scent (or did not).

    It will be nice to collect useful information on the SAR dogs here. We run into this on every case. I will try to go through and find the information we gathered from our own WSers who were dog trainers. I believe the indepth discussions were on the Jennifer Kesse case.
    "WE SEEK FOR THE TRUTH. WE SEEK JUSTICE.
    THE COURTS REQUIRE IT. THE VICTIMS CRY FOR IT
    AND GOD DEMANDS IT!"

    A quote spray painted on the wall by search
    and rescue workers, Team 5, at the OKC Bombing site 4-19-1995.



    What I post are my opinions only.

  7. #7
    This is from a poster on the Theories about Haleigh thread:

    Quote Originally Posted by doobiedoo52 View Post
    I know there was a poster who said WS had already discussed the time frame for a cadaver dog recognizing a "death scent", but I found an interesting study that was done in 1997 using corpses from 70 minutes to 3 days old.
    Here is the link: http://www.csst.org/cadaver_scent.html

    The results were: The shortest post-mortem interval for which we received a correct response was one hour and 25 minutes. However, the post-mortem interval for which we received a consistently correct response from all dogs involved is 2.5 - 3 hours.

    Since I don't personally know, I am going by this as well as the handlers in the Madelaine McCann case that said at least 2 hours before dogs can differentiate life from death scents.

    That would give the Cummings clan at LEAST an hour to remove the body from the MH. If someone has a link that states minutes instead of hours before the scent can be detected, I would love to read it.
    "WE SEEK FOR THE TRUTH. WE SEEK JUSTICE.
    THE COURTS REQUIRE IT. THE VICTIMS CRY FOR IT
    AND GOD DEMANDS IT!"

    A quote spray painted on the wall by search
    and rescue workers, Team 5, at the OKC Bombing site 4-19-1995.



    What I post are my opinions only.

  8. #8
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    http://animals.howstuffworks.com/ani....htm/printable


    This is an interesting article that even talks about dogs who sniff rafts of skin.

  9. #9
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    SS indicates:
    They did make the comment her scent was "fading" at the park and other places she frequented.

    That comment really puzzles me...what do they mean by the scent was fading? I would appreciate any examination or explanation relative to that phrase. How do they know it was fading? Did the dogs begin to scatter? Were the dogs seeming to focus on a trail and then stop? Did one dog learn english and speak to the trainer?

    I can't understand between the idea that the scent seemed to stop or the scent "faded." I'd just like some chat about what you think the phrase meant. Clearly some scent was detected, and the fact that they returned with more dogs recently seems to indicate that the idea of "scent" remains a topic of interest.

    I've heard chat about "why are these people coming out in the heat of the day, with sweating dogs, to again try to pick up some scent"? Are they focusing on cadaver dogs and came out when they did because they thought the "heat" would be an advantage, thus pointing to the idea that they are looking for a body?

    I personally think the most important focus should be on initial scent investigations immediately following LB's disappearance, and that's why I'd personally like some input on what is meant by...

    scent fading

    How does a scent "fade"? Either it's there or it isn't? IMO
    _______________________________________

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Normcar21 View Post
    SS indicates:
    They did make the comment her scent was "fading" at the park and other places she frequented.

    That comment really puzzles me...what do they mean by the scent was fading? I would appreciate any examination or explanation relative to that phrase. How do they know it was fading? Did the dogs begin to scatter? Were the dogs seeming to focus on a trail and then stop? Did one dog learn english and speak to the trainer?

    I can't understand between the idea that the scent seemed to stop or the scent "faded." I'd just like some chat about what you think the phrase meant. Clearly some scent was detected, and the fact that they returned with more dogs recently seems to indicate that the idea of "scent" remains a topic of interest.

    I've heard chat about "why are these people coming out in the heat of the day, with sweating dogs, to again try to pick up some scent"? Are they focusing on cadaver dogs and came out when they did because they thought the "heat" would be an advantage, thus pointing to the idea that they are looking for a body?

    I personally think the most important focus should be on initial scent investigations immediately following LB's disappearance, and that's why I'd personally like some input on what is meant by...

    scent fading

    How does a scent "fade"? Either it's there or it isn't? IMO
    I was talking to my mom about this today as my son had gone over to the other side of the garage to cut down blackberries - the area where my former tenants left deer carcasses and it still smells after 1 and a half YEARS. When its hot - it is WAY WORSE and the smell today made me ill! I told Mom and discussed the issue we've been talking about and she reminded me that there is still fur and hide in the area as it is part of the ground over there. (It's a real gross mess that is taking forever to deal with, lemme tell you!)

    So, in answer to your question, I think the scent fading could be if there wasn't anything left there. If it is a trail left where Lindsey was walking, the scent would fade, I would think. If it is an area where there is still something left behind, it would not.


  11. #11
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    I hope this helps for a better understanding on search dog scents.

    http://www.searchdogsne.org/referenc...aver%20Dog.pdf

  12. #12
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kimster View Post
    I was talking to my mom about this today as my son had gone over to the other side of the garage to cut down blackberries - the area where my former tenants left deer carcasses and it still smells after 1 and a half YEARS. When its hot - it is WAY WORSE and the smell today made me ill! I told Mom and discussed the issue we've been talking about and she reminded me that there is still fur and hide in the area as it is part of the ground over there. (It's a real gross mess that is taking forever to deal with, lemme tell you!)

    So, in answer to your question, I think the scent fading could be if there wasn't anything left there. If it is a trail left where Lindsey was walking, the scent would fade, I would think. If it is an area where there is still something left behind, it would not.
    Thanks Kim, my question is in a few days time why would a scent seem to be fading by the dogs? Especially on Maple where clearly LB was walking. I think I understand where you are coming from but from what I have read dogs can pick up a scent that is much much older than a day or two. The fact that dogs could not pick up LB's scent in areas where she clearly walked day in and day out completely mystifies me. All of these statements by experts that a scent can remain, not only for days, but months, and some dogs can even track people in vehicles escaping on highways, simply makes my head spin.

    Why could Lindsey's scent "fade" when they are searching common areas where she spent time on a daily basis?

    Can scents be hidden if someone who knows something about scents uses something like a pepper spray? Are there ways of hiding scent, if the perp has knowledge of such things (i.e. LE)?

    Anyway, thanks for your input, it helps
    _______________________________________

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by TamgMit View Post
    I hope this helps for a better understanding on search dog scents.

    http://www.searchdogsne.org/referenc...aver%20Dog.pdf
    Thanks T, great resources and I plan to get heavy into a read on these links.
    _______________________________________



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