Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Summit Search and Rescue

These dogs are known as the detective dogs. Made famous by such characters as Disney's Pluto, Copper from The Fox and the Hound, Bruno from Cinderella and Duke from The Beverly Hillbillies, it's easy to recognize them from their long, floppy ears, sagging jowls and wrinkles, especially around their neck (the "dewlap").

Their most distinctive feature, however, looks common enough - their nose. Bloodhounds are famous for their ability to follow any scent. Remember the Bumpuses' dogs from A Christmas Story? Even though that was a comic scene where the bloodhounds followed their noses right to the Parkers' Christmas turkey, bloodhounds have a serious ability to sniff things out. They've been known to pick up trails that are nearly 100 hours old!

Summit Search and Rescue (SSAR) takes advantage of these dogs' amazing noses. SSAR is a nonprofit agency of man-trailing bloodhounds. They assist local agencies to locate missing people - lost children, individuals with Alzheimer's who have wandered off, missing hikers, etc. SSAR's bloodhounds also live up the bloodhound's reputation as a detective dog, helping police find suspects who have fled the scene or locating evidence left by suspects.

SSAR's three noses - Boone, Apache and Merit - are specially trained to follow a person's scent. After catching the scent from something a person wore or touched, these amazing dogs can track it through almost any terrain.

Summit Search and Rescue will be at PawsAbilities to demonstrate bloodhounds' man-trailing abilities. Be sure to check out their demonstration and information table!

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