Articles of Interest

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Saratoga woman and her dog, Sweep, are there when they're needed

By Marianne L. Hamilton
for the Saratoga News
Posted: 03/24/2009 05:41:56 PM PDT

The World Trade Center. The Columbia Space Shuttle disaster. The terrorist bombing in Oklahoma City.
To the rest of the country, these places and events conjure up unspeakable horrors. Lynne Engelbert views them through another filter — that of hope, pride and gratitude.
Idly scratching the head of Sweep, her border collie, Engelbert recounts her 20 years as a canine search specialist...

A nose for forensics: Local canine group brings closure in cases of tragedy
Written by Eliza Ridgeway - Town Crier Staff Writer
Wednesday, 24 September 2008

Los Altos Police Detective John Korges and his dog, Karson, prepare for forensic search practice in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Karson is training for certification as a human-remains detection dog with the Santa Clara County Sheriffs Department. On a sunny afternoon last month, a group of local dog owners and their canines converged at a tree farm off Highway 17 with some unexpected training tools. In addition to liver treats and tennis balls, they brought human teeth and bones and vials of donated blood. The dogs were alert as they waited together in the grass, sharp-eyed collies and shepherds, with a rottweiler and a Doberman pinscher in the mix...

A Four-legged Agent Looking for Cadaver and for Historical Remains
Czech republic is a small country of 10 million people and it is safe to say, that most of them are dog lovers. And as this case shows, amongst the dog lovers good dog news fly fast. This article is in Czech language; it is from a dog magazine "Psi
Kusy", February 2008, Issue 2

Crime Scene Guidelines ... for Forensic Canine Handlers by Adela Morris

The purpose of a crime scene investigation is to establish if a crime has been committed, what happened and to identify the person or person's responsible. Most of this process is not the responsibility of the canine handler.


Cadaver Scent Project ... by Adela Morris and Rita Martinez (CSST members)

This research project was initiated in January of 1997 as a response to a frequently asked question by agencies that use our services. How, we are asked, do the dogs define death? At what point during the decomposition process of a human body will the dogs demonstrate that they recognize the scent as post-mortem?

Residual Scent in Buildings ... project conducted in a closed, unused building

One of the questions we are commonly asked as forensic canine handlers is "How long will scent last in any given situation?" This is a very complicated question, but we want to begin to unravel the secrets. We know some of the elements that will affect residual scent are heat/sun, wind, humidity and rain.

AKC 2002 Award for Canine Excellence in Search and Rescue goes to Topper...

The AKC announced that the 2002 recipient for their Award for Canine Excellence in Search and Rescue is Topper.

Forensic Evidence Canines ... Status, Training and Utilization

A common problem in death investigation is the finding and identification of objects and places associated with either the commission of an incident or the actual location of a decedent's body. Weapons and instrumentalities of death are often disposed of in natural areas: objects, clothing, and vehicles may be cleaned in an attempt to remove evidence of blood and tissue; bodies are buried in remote areas or with associated efforts to conceal burial (e.g., a new concrete patio.) Once an object or place is located, standard criminalistic, archeological, and forensic investigative methods can be used to make the victim/perpetrator/place/object linking.

Box Effect ... when doing a search of a house and garage

The yahtzee phenomena, as we have come to call it, began when doing a search of a house and garage. We were asked to look for blood evidence to place a homicide in the house. As usual, we worked our dogs without watching the other teams work and did not share information until we were all finished with our initial search. An observer monitored all of the teams.

Canine Stress ... and how to handle it by Rita Martinez

Many of the incidents to which you and your canine partner will be called to work will be stressful situations. The elements of danger, urgency, injuries, fatalities, unknowns are all stress producers, for the human and the canine member of the team. As humans, it is our obligation to our canine partner that we not get so caught up in our own thoughts that we fail to consider and observe their reactions.

Chandra Levy Case ... Cadaver dogs in Washington, D.C.

They get called out on cases for one reason: They can smell death. It leads them to the bodies, lost in scummy ponds, hidden by dense brush, buried two feet under. It leads them to the bones, because even years later, a
telltale scent can linger on the skeletonized detritus of a human being. Nose to the ground, they catch a whiff -- and often help solve a mystery or a murder.