First Arriving Network
First Arriving Network

A Different Kind Of Arson Dog

WHEN YOU HERE THE TERM “ARSON DOG” you usually think of those sleek Laborador retrievers who sniff around the fire scene trying to detect an accelerant or other suspicious chemical.  But the Alabama Forestry Commission is training a bloodhound who will be sniffing out the arsonist himself.


Hello, Blaze
(Tuscaloosa News / Lopez photo)

Blaze is a 6-month-old puppy who just started training in December and has another eight months to go before he begins assisting investigators in tracking down fire-setters.  Over the past three years approx. 42% of all Alabama wildfires have been arsons, and they are hoping that not only will Blaze help in making more arrests, but that he will also act as a deterrent if the bad guys know that they can be tracked.

Brett Bralley writing for the Tuscaloosa News reports:

Once investigators determine the point of origin of a fire, they will bring Blaze to the site. Blaze will pick up a scent from a piece of physical evidence, such as a footprint, a tire track, clothing or a piece of trash.

The scent might be days old and covered over with several other scents, but Blaze should be able to track the scent for a few miles. Already, he can already track scents for about 500 yards while still in training.

Lamkin said even if an arsonist is driving on a highway, as long as a window is open or his scent is released through a vent in the car, Blaze should be able to pick up the scent.

“What he can trail off of is dead skin cells,” Lamkin said.

The funding for the purchase of the bloodhound and its training, food and care came from donations made by several volunteer fire organizations, a peace officers association and a Creek Indian tribe.

Read the full story of this up-and-coming crime fighter HERE.

Hat tip to Chief G. W.

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