Human Remains (*cadaver) Detection (HRD) dog questions and answers **NO DISCUSSION**

Discussion in 'Lisa Irwin' started by nursebeeme, Oct 21, 2011.

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  1. sarx

    sarx Verified Expert/Professional in SAR and K9SAR

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    It really seems to depend on who is working the dog. A disaster dog IMO should never have anything on. Anything can get caught in rubble and be very dangerous, but amazingly I have seen dogs working debris fields with all sorts of things on. A trailing dog should be in a harness and not on a collar so they're not choking themselves, but again, seen it. Outside of that the lines really start to blurr even more and people really start to be all over the place. I know handlers who use the taking off of the collar as kind of a "time for work" set up. I also know handlers who put on a shabrack (the little vest that says SAR on it) for that same reason.
    Sorry, that doesn't help much huh?
     


  2. SurfieTX

    SurfieTX Active Member

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    It helps a lot, Sarx. Thank you. I have a dobie (not SAR trained). I can see the "set up" training aspects you describe based upon our experience with simple training we have had to do with him. He's a big boy (115 pounds), and it was very important at first to make sure we could 'handle' him, so to speak.

    I'm tossing around the idea about training in SAR with another dobie. They are amazing dogs, and after what I have learned from y'all, I can see his innate abilities to air scent and alert. It's really quite fascinating. :)
     
  3. ThoughtFox

    ThoughtFox Expecting the Unexpected

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  4. Cazzie

    Cazzie This is love

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    ahem! HRD dogs...right?
     
  5. ThoughtFox

    ThoughtFox Expecting the Unexpected

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    Sorry ~ I fixed my post to just say "Dogs." :innocent: (oh wait, the word *cadaver* is in the title of the thread)

    Anyway, the video is good.
     
  6. Oriah

    Oriah Verified Expert

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    I'll second that. The reason why I said -wait-why are they wearing collars (in the other thread) is because I was trying to figure out if they were cross trained or not, lol. I've actually seen some water search dogs with life vests on, but those are typically rescue dogs. You can tell a lot about what kind of training a dog has had (and by what sort of trainer) by the dogs 'gear.'

    Our HRD dogs don't wear anything unless they are in training or have to work a potentially hazardous site.

    Oh and I'm going to further sarx's point about disaster dogs not having anything on (for their own safety) but also because in most disasters you have to decontaminate your dog frequently- and it's kinda tough to keep swapping out collars, harnesses, etc. If you decontaminate your dog and then put a contaminated collar back on...you have not decontaminated your dog.
     
  7. Cazzie

    Cazzie This is love

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    Yes, it is great! I hadn't seen any close-up video of the dogs working.

    Thank you for posting it. :)
     
  8. scmom

    scmom Well-Known Member

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    Do you think the jurors in the Anthony case were confused about the cadaver dog hits because they didn't understand the difference between the dogs? I THINK I remember that Gerrus was cross-trained, and Bones was specifically a HRD dog. Bones had been with Forgey, then sent to another agency. Forgey mentioned they got Gerrus because he had been cross-trained; theoretically more useful.
     
  9. Oriah

    Oriah Verified Expert

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    Hi scmom- your post made me look up the thread title, and realize it just says HRD Q&A- it just happened to fall under Lisa I.'s forum!
    Maybe we can clarify all these dog threads, mod? Combine or something?

    Anyway- to answer your question (and moo of course) but yes, I do think jurors may have been confused. I also think attorneys may have been confused. It is very difficult to effectively testify to a jury on any 'science'- much less one where most people have very little experience, but a lot of bias. And one where controversy runs rampant. HTH.
     
  10. greenpalm

    greenpalm I don't say much unless I've really thought it thr

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    There was quite a bit of discussion during the Casey Anthony trial about the distinctive odor of human decomp. I certainly don't question that the odor is distinctive from the decomp odor of other animals. The dogs depend on it being distinctive. None of this dog training would work otherwise.

    However, I did question whether just any old Joe off the street could distinguish between human decomp, and say a package of chicken that slid under the car seat on the way home from the grocery store and begins to spoil before you find it, or a rat that gets poisoned and dies in the wall, or a possum who crawls under the house and dies. I would tell you that they all smell pretty much the same, but&#8230; maybe it's because I haven't taken the time to compare them. My point is just that, it troubled me that it was argued that human decomp was unmistakable. I would say, it depends on the experience of the person doing the sniffing. Your response quoted above would seem to concur. I happen to have a "good sniffer" I'm always identifying ingredients in complex recipes, and my DH wants me to get a job as a single malt Scotch whiskey taster and blender <wink> but I still think most people, although they could ID decomp in general, might not know exactly what species was rotten in Denmark. (i would agree that decomp in general is most definitely unmistakable, NOTHING else smells like that)

    That said, I left a tuna steak in the car once, it was overlooked when I returned from the grocery store. I would say it had a very distinctive odor from the other animals I listed before. <shrug>

    So, my question is then just to confirm, human decomp is not necessarily immediately unmistakably identifiable by every human?

    Thanks!
     
  11. Oriah

    Oriah Verified Expert

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    1st BBM:
    Wow, bet you're still trying to get that smell out of your car, greenpalm. ;)

    2nd BBM:

    Correct. Decomp of many sorts smell different to many humans (as well as many dogs.) That's why the scent discrimination training for working dogs is SO, SO, SO important. A working dog needs to be able to alert accurately on, say, the tuna in your vehicle- if that's what it has been trained to do. Not the chicken nugget that your child dropped in their carseat. Not the spilled milk- or the tissue you used to stop the nosebleed- or the dirty diaper you changed in the backseat. JUST the decomposing tuna.
    Obviously, we don't have a heavy need for 'tuna alert' dogs, lol. But the scent discrimination training is the same.

    As for people- you might be sniffing, and thinking "ah! THAT's what happened to that tuna! It's under the backseat where it probably fell when I carried the groceries in!"
    While your car companion might just be thinking, "What is that ungodly smell??"

    Make sense?
     
  12. nursebeeme

    nursebeeme Registered User

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    bumping up for dog questions
     
  13. KsStormy

    KsStormy New Member

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    I know the HRD dogs were used at the pond, but what about the river,does anyone know? Would a moving body of water such as the Missouri river be different for the dogs as opposed to a more stable lake or pond?
     
  14. sarx

    sarx Verified Expert/Professional in SAR and K9SAR

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    Dogs were used in a number of places. I believe they were on the river as well, but not certain.
    Yes, the dynamics of water searching change a whole lot between lakes/ponds/rivers.
     
  15. KsStormy

    KsStormy New Member

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    Thank you, sarx. What kind of time frame restrictions does river search include? For instance, considering an object (body) would potentially be traveling downriver, are the dogs able to follow the scent if it is mobile - how long might the scent still be in the river? I know in Oct. the river was hauling some butt the several times I saw or crossed it.
     
  16. RANCH

    RANCH A house divided against itself, cannot stand

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    Does anyone know if tracking dogs were used in this case? Would tracking dogs even be practical in a case such as this? In other words, would tracking dogs work in a case were a 11 month old child is picked up from inside a home then either placed in a car or walked away with?
     
  17. RANCH

    RANCH A house divided against itself, cannot stand

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    I bumped these post's for anyone who feels that one dog hit is enough to convince someone that Lisa definitely died in the Irwin house. A single dog will not give you 100% accuracy.
     
  18. RANCH

    RANCH A house divided against itself, cannot stand

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    Bump.
     
  19. norest4thewicked

    norest4thewicked True Crime Writer

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    I have a question for the experts here. I am going to describe a possible scenario and I'd like your opinion on whether the dogs would hit on this. This is purely a hypothetical and it is something that I wonder about. Thanks in advance.

    Let's say a small body was deceased and was wrapped in blankets, towels, or other fabric or paper, and then put into a plastic bag, sealed with tape, then wrapped again in plastic and sealed with tape, then put into a container of some sort, metal or plastic, and that container was wrapped in plastic and sealed with tape, and this happened even another time, until finally being put into a final container. Then, THAT container was put into a plastic bag and sealed again with tape. If that container was taken from the house and put into the car and remained there for only a couple of minutes, would the scent of human remains be picked up by the dogs?

    I apologize for my sentence structure. I've been sick for several days and am on some meds. I need bed! :)
     
  20. Oriah

    Oriah Verified Expert

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    Let's say I have a lot of confidence in one of our HRD dogs. Her accuracy rate is excellent, she is a well seasoned and well trained dog, who has proven consistancy in alerts in both training and in the field.

    If she alerted once to trace HR in a residence- I would think there was trace HR in the residence. That's all. Nothing more, nothing less. Not that someone was definately dead. Might somebody be dead? Yes. But it is apples to oranges and one apple does not = one orange.

    Also note that I am saying trace. I'd be a lot more concerned if she alerted multiple times, especially in a certain pattern that might indicate decomp transfer. Or if she, say, alerted to a part of a human body.
     
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