BROOKVILLE — The Pine Creek K9 Search Unit participated in a child abduction scenario on May 4 to ensure the dogs will properly respond to the situation.
Pine Creek K9 Search Unit President Carlee Hidinger said all handlers and dogs are trained through the International Bloodhound Training Institute.
She said the situation is presented as a mother and infant walking together before the mother walks in one direction and another individual takes the infant in another direction.
This presents an accurate simulation of a child abduction, Hidinger said, adding that the team generally practices the scenario with infants who are younger than five months because the infant’s scent is very similar to the mother’s at that age.
The dogs and the handlers use a scent article the infant has touched to start the trail. Hidinger said most dogs will work the trail until the child is found, but some do follow the mother’s trail. While it is not wrong for them to do so, she said the dogs are cast back over the infant’s trail during the training.
Hidinger said the training is very important so that the dogs and handlers will be ready in the event a child abduction does occur.
“We hope and pray that we never have to use this scenario, however it is practiced in case we do. This exercise is extremely important because a mother and newborn baby smell similar, which can likely confuse a dog if they have never been introduced to it before,” Hidinger said.