Law enforcement bloodhounds practice scent tracking in snowy weather

Local - 11/12/2013 5:43 PM by Karen Franklin
BECKWITH - Dixie is the newest member to the Fayette County Sheriff's Department thanks to public donations. She's a work in progress, but with time she'll be a pro.

"We still got some things we got to work on, but for the most part, for her just being a year old, she's doing extremely well," Deputy Shane Milam said.

Dixie and her K9 friends were out in Beckwith Tuesday following a scent left by Cpl. Jess McMullen 12 hours before. They were joined by the Raleigh County Sheriff's Office, Barboursville Police Department and the Division of Forestry. They practiced long despite the snowy conditions.

"You've seen them today do good, and the weather is drastically changed overnight, and it doesn't slow them down any," McMullen said. "They're really good at what they do."

There are a dozen law enforcement bloodhounds in the state, six of which are worked in Raleigh, Fayette and Mercer counties. Six-year-old Wilbur is another K9 deputy, he's a fan favorite.

"He's real mild mannered," handler McMullen said. "He's a really, really friendly dog. Loves kids. Loves people. He's a really good god to have around."

The bloodhounds follow dead skin cells and endorphines to track missing persons and solve crimes. Their handlers couldn't be happier with their progress.

"I love it. Bloodhounds are dirty, sloppy dogs and when they shake, their slobber goes everywhere, but they're fun. They're a lot of fun," Milam said.

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