A Nurse with a Gun

Saturday, July 12, 2008


I met with the local sheriff this afternoon and briefly discussed the prospect of Ilsa becoming affiliated with the department on a volunteer basis. I found a less than enthusiastic response. Apparently the sheriff thinks squirrel dogs are sufficient for finding human beings. He doesn't understand that a squirrel dog turned loose in a search area searches for.....squirrels.

Several years back, a school teacher was murdered and her body was the subject of months and months of organized searching using hunting dogs. The general area was known, and the ground was contaminated on top of contamination from previous searches. Her body was finally found rotting in the bottom of a well by a hunter. Ilsa could have found her within two hours.

Tracking dogs track. They sniff the ground for scent left behind. Rain, other animals, search parties and time all work to obscure the scent on the ground. Scenting dogs do not rely on the ground to locate their find. They sniff wafts of scent from the air. It is a constantly renewed resource of scent that is not dependent on stumbling upon an area that the sought person had passed through. A woman in a well releases scent much like a fire releases smoke up a chimney. It is a constant release with a well defined pinpoint location.

Needless to say, I am disappointed at the official response, but I refuse to become discouraged.



Blogger nature223 said...

welcome to instituted law enforcement arrogance,how can you as a civilian, assault his greater logic and scheme of things..he just "knows more then you"
now go away,pay taxes and shut up...you would think FREE help would be a needed item for him to avail upon....what a tool

3:12 PM  
Anonymous NRA BEP-DE said...

Xavier -
Don't be discouraged. I would interpret the original response to mean either "Don't tell me how to do my job" or "Damn! I wish I'd thought of that!"
I promise you that once you have planted the seed of thought, once the squirrell dogs fail and the Sherriff REALLY wants to find someone - you and Ilsa will get a call.
Love your blog!

3:24 PM  
Blogger Shermlock Shomes said...

Sorry to hear about the sheriff's reluctance to use a valuable - and free! - resource. Officialdom never fails to disappoint when it comes to making intelligent decisions. Let's hope he comes around to the idea.

5:10 PM  
Blogger Glenn Bartley said...

Without hearing why your dog was turned down, I cannot know the reason(s), but can only guess. First of all would be liability issues. Second would be liability issues. Third would be liability issues.

All the best,
Glenn B

6:15 PM  
Blogger Glenn Bartley said...

By the way, nice dog. What type is she?

6:15 PM  
Blogger Xavier said...

She's a German Shepherd Glenn.

ARDA search dogs and volunteers have been working in concert with law enforcement for the past four decades.

The answer is simple......Keep training, and offer services to other departments as well.

11:07 PM  
Blogger Matt G said...

"The answer is simple......Keep training, and offer services to other departments as well."


Get yourself on call with a small municipal department. Every once in a while, a toddler or an Altzheimer's patient wanders off, or some guys go to ground, and they'd be damned happy to have a dog at their disposal.

You get that kind of accredation, and boom-- instant cred as a search hound for public service. Also, agencies loan out services all the time. It's entirely possible that Smalltown P.D. might be called upon to provide an agency assist for your parish, and Ilsa ends up working a parish call after all.

1:59 AM  
Blogger Mauser*Girl said...

I'm sorry to hear the local Sheriff is clueless about the type of asset a trained SAR dog / cadaver dog / water rescue dog (I don't know which of the three you do - sorry!) would be for his office in the event that it was ever needed.

I assume you're affiliated with a SAR organization? If so, just stick with that and continue training. When/if the sheriff's office need that sort of support, they will hopefully be smart enough to find a local group (yours, ideally) and ask for it.

You could also do a "resume" for Ilsa and send it to his office, laying out all the details - her training record, evaluations / certifications she's passed, and what type of insurance / liability your group is covered under while actively working with an agency. That may change his mind.

11:10 PM  

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