Nova Scotia

Nova Scotia RCMP dog trained to sniff out dead bodies, explosives

Doc, a 5-year-old purebred German shepherd, trained to detect cadavers and explosives

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The Mounties in Nova Scotia have a new investigator helping sniff out evidence, and in particular, dead bodies.

A five-year-old purebred German shepherd, Doc, is the only dog working with RCMP in Canada that is trained to find cadavers. He's also able to locate explosives.

Doc was part of the RCMP's breeding program and is now paired up with handler Const. Brian Veniot. 

The province's Medical Examiner's office helped with the specialized training by providing human tissue that was donated by families who wanted to assist with the office's work.

The human tissue was wrapped first in plastic and then in a tube. Doc never came in direct contact with it.

When the dog finds something suspicious, he is trained to lie down next to it. So far, he's been able to locate tissue about 60 centimetres below ground and his training is continuing. 

Last summer, Doc was dispatched to Lower Truro to assist in the investigation into Taylor Samson's death. The dog was part of the team that combed the property belonging to the family of William Sandeson, who is accused of killing Samson.

Nova Scotia Ground Search and Rescue also have a dog with similar training, as does the Ontario Provincial Police.

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