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REVIEW of Focus 45
Search and Rescue Dogs
the K-9's with a nose for the job

As well as being loyal companions, dogs have been used to help humans in specific work situations. There are farm dogs and seeing-eye dogs which are generally trained to perform in the chosen field; some, however, posses an inbred talent that merely needs refining. Such animals are the search dogs employed by the police and emergency rescue services.

Since their special skills were recognised, training of some breeds began in 1899. Initially bloodhounds were favoured for their acute sense of smell, later being supplemented by German Shepherds. Not only could these dogs sniff out numerous scents in a bid to locate a missing person; but they were also strong, powerful animals capable of apprehending and detaining dangerous criminals.

Other breeds are used to detect scents of drugs and contraband; but perhaps the most important of jobs would have to be in the search for victims buried by collapsed buildings; and even locating the bodies of those who didn't survive. The latter are known as cadaver dogs. These incredible animals can detect the scent of decomposing remains, even when it is buried.

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