Cadaver dogs make a game out of the macabre

Cadaver dogs make a game out of the macabre

Cebu : Philippines | Mar 29, 2012 at 7:55 PM PDT
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Skooter reporting 03/30/12

If there are drug sniffer dogs, then there are cadaver dogs too. These cute looking dogs across the region descended on Snohomish this week for their annual testing and certification. They are called cadaver dogs because they are being trained to do a dirty, smelly job.

To hunt for disgusting odor of rotting human flesh is not an enjoyable visit to grandma's house, but for cadaver dogs like Zeva, Pandora and Shadow, it's just a fun game of hide and seek.

That's Roy Lopez’s way of approach to teach the dogs about "uncommon scents." Lopez considered this as a game to the dog.

Frankly speaking, the dogs are in Snohomish to learn how to sniff out dead man’s body. Once they are on the right spot, they received gentle pats on the head and given toys.

The dogs that make the tests are capable to sniff out a single tooth or drop of blood. According to Lopez if a human body was obscured and decayed underground and a tree began growing in that spot, a good cadaver dog would be able to smell the body in the leaves of the tree; it’s very clever indeed. So in order to be in that level, the dogs are trained using the real macoy.

"It's legally obtained," said Lopez. "It's blood, bone, tissue."

For the most part of the training, the handlers and dogs are volunteers. One of the handlers Paula McColum said that she wanted to get out in the woods to help find people, then naturally the dog became a part of it. And now she admitted that she’s hooked on the dog stuff.


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smelly game
Snohomish cadaver dogs and their handlers
skooter is based in Cebu, Central Visayas, Philippines, and is an Anchor on Allvoices.
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