HRD Dogs

Cadaver dogs. Also known as human remains detection dogs,  have been trained to smell death. Specifically, the dogs are trained to smell decomposition, which means they can locate body parts, tissue, blood, and bone
A trained human cadaver dog will not signal a living person or an animal (except pigs), but it will signal a recently deceased, putrefying or skeletonized human corpse. That suggests that the “bouquet of death” is discernible, but attempts to identify it has so far failed. Two of the by-products of decomposition, putrescine, and cadaverine, have been bottled and are commercially available as dog training aids. But they are also present in all decaying organic material, and in human saliva.

A human cadaver dog’s detection skills depend greatly on its training, and the problem is that human remains are hard to come by. Trainers often use a combination of available “pseudoscents”, and pigs. The problem with pseudoscents, says Mick Swindells, a retired police handler who works as a freelance trainer and handler,  is that they represent a “snapshot” of death. As decomposition proceeds, the chemistry of the corpse evolves, causing its odor to change. “I’m trying to train a dog to find the whole video, not just a snapshot,” he says. Pigs decompose in similarly to humans, and when buried they disturb the ground in a similar way.

A well-trained cadaver dog almost never gets it wrong, according to experts.

If the dog has the proper training in picking up the full range of scents of human decomposition, his accuracy rate is about 95 percent, said Sharon Ward, a cadaver dog trainer in Portland, Ore.

“So if a dog says it’s there, there’s a darn good chance it is,” she said.  “They’re pretty darn accurate.”

Types of search methods

Air-scent dogs, 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.

Air-scent dogs might be called in to find a missing hiker located “somewhere in a national park,” an avalanche victim beneath 15 feet of snow or people buried under a collapsed building. Air-scenters might specialize in a particular type of search, such as:

  • Cadaver – Dogs specifically search for the scent of human remains, detecting the smell of human decomposition gasses in addition to skin rafts. Cadaver dogs can find something as small as a human tooth or a single drop of blood.
  • Water – Dogs search for drowning victims by boat. When a body is underwater, skin particles and gases rise to the surface, so dogs can smell a body even when it’s completely immersed. Due to the movement of water currents, dogs can seldom pinpoint the exact location of the body. Typically, more than one SAR team searches the area of interest, and divers use each dog’s alert point, along with water-current analysis, to estimate the most likely location of the body.  https://animals.howstuffworks.com/animal-facts/sar-dog2.htm


Episode Guest

Barbara Weakley-Jones MD is a licensed physician in Kentucky and Indiana with board certification in Anatomic and Forensic Pathology. Dr. Weakley-Jones was a fulltime KY State Medical Examiner for 29 yrs before retiring in 2010.  She has worked with many homicide detectives, police agencies and lawyers on all types of legal cases.  She is a Clinical Professor at the University of Louisville School of Medicine; Gratis faculty member at the University of Kentucky and a volunteer advisor to the Louisville Zoo.  She has served on the Uof L Foundation Board and is still a member on the UofL Board of Overseers.

She is a member of the Disaster Mortuary Operational Response Team (DMORT) which is part of the National Disaster Medical System (NDMS) with a recent mission to Haiti.

Barbara is a teacher, trainer, handler and personal owner of search and recovery dogs.  Previous director of the State Cadaver Dog Program; Former board member of the CSAR-K9 Search and Rescue Association, a Member of the National Association of Search and rescue and a member of North American Police Working Dogs Association (NAPWDA)  She has taught many classes in HRD land and water, lectured on  Care and handling of training aids, Decomposition changes, Search tactics, Scent and the Scenting dog, and Preservation of the Scene.

 

 



 Free 12 week email course.  Receive a new training and video to your inbox every week for 12 weeks.  This is real training and will give in detailed actionable steps to becoming a better investigator. Sign up today at:

 


 

Medicolegal Death Investigation – Online Academy 

Coroners, Medical Examiner Investigators, Police, and Forensic students. This hybrid course looks at death investigation from a combined perspective of law enforcement and medicolegal death investigations.

MLDI online Academy is a Nationally Accredited online training designed to teach all aspects of death investigation and scene management. Unlike any other coroner training today,  this course offers a blended learning style combining online self-paced video training, along with opportunities for live interaction with instructors several times throughout the program, and a unique private Facebook group open only to students of Coroner School™ where everyone can interact and ask questions.

MLDI online Academy is a six-week guided course with certified instructors. However, at the end of the six weeks, you still have access to all videos, downloadable material, and the private Facebook group. You can return to the online school anytime to finish up the courses or as a refresher in certain topic areas.


 

 

Medicolegal Death Investigation Scene Kit

This exclusive first of its kind Medicolegal Death Investigation (MLDI) kit contains all the items you need to document and collect evidence from the most important piece of evidence at any death scene – The Body. Designed for Coroners, Medical Examiner Investigators, and anyone responsible to investigate and process a death.

This kit is equipped to collect fragile evidence such as DNA and fibers, take post-mortem temperatures, document the scene through photography and sketching, as well as properly collect transport, and store material evidence.

This MLDI Kit can be used in large agencies for multiple MDI’s or one single kit for smaller agencies. Packaged in a sturdy Pelican carry case with custom dividers and a pocketed pouch system. Built strong to withstand the demands from scene to scene.

Click HERE for more information

 


 

 

The Death Investigation Training Academy was founded to play an integral role in the death investigation community.  The need for quality accredited training is in short supply and high demand. Using a combination of classroom training, live on site scenario exercises,  and web-based training, the Death Investigation Training Academy is filling the need of 21st-century investigators.

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

coroner,police training, darren dake,sheriff,deputy,coroner association,murder scenes,auto fatalities,csi,first responders,autoerotic fatalities,become a coroner,forensic science crime scene investigation,forensic science crime,scene investigator,forensic training,forensics training,how to be a crime scene investigator,how to become a death investigator,how to become a medical examiner,how to become a medical examiner investigator,medical examiner investigator training,medical investigator training,medicolegal death,medicolegal death investigator training,murder scenes,pictures of murder scenes,murder,real murder crime scenes,traffic deaths,traffic fatalities,what does it take to be a coroner,what does it take to be a criminal investigator,firefighter,fire training,firefighter training,autoerotic fatalities,become a coroner,coroner information,crime scene clean up training,crime scene cleaning training,crime scene cleanup training,crime scene investigation,crime scene investigation classes,crime scene investigator courses,crime scene investigator school,crime scene jobs,crime scene photography,crime scene photography training,crime scene technician,crime scene technician training,crime scene training,criminal investigation,criminal investigator,criminal justice,criminal justice forensic science,criminal justice forensics,criminal scene investigation,death crime scenes,death investigation training,death investigator training,death investigators,forensic death investigator,forensic investigator,forensic photography, crime scene clean up,crime scene bio-hazard, using plants in criminal investigation,forensic botany,dr.jane bock,death investigator magazine,dr judy melinek,badge of life,american college of forensic examiners,acfei,american board of medicolegal death investigators,abmdi,matthew lunn,underwater crime scene,mike berry,online learning,lopa 
About the Author
Darren is a 30 year veteran of law enforcement and criminal investigations. He currently serves as an investigator for the Crawford County Missouri coroner’s office. He holds credentials as an instructor for the Missouri Sheriff’s Training Academy, has served as president of the Missouri Medical Examiners and Coroners Association, and is certified and credentialed in numerous fields of investigation. He holds the position of lead instructor and facilitator for the Coroner Talk™ community as he speaks and writes in the area of death investigation and scene management.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *