Campbell County Sheriff’s Office K9 Handler Deputy Cameron Byrd
January 2024: I responded to a missing 5 year old with autism. The child went out the back door in an unknown direction of travel, missing approximately 30 minutes. There was a pond and several swimming pools in the area that deputies checked. I retrieved the child’s pillowcase and acclimated Dyson around the house. I presented the scent article to Dyson, and he immediately took track. Dyson tracked through a small section of woods and came out near a road to another subdivision. We continued tracking and at this time we were met on track by two citizens that had the child and we’re trying to figure out where his home was. The good samaritan’s got a jacket and socks for the child and began the search on finding where his home was. Dyson and I walked up to the child and Dyson began to alert. The child was able to meet Dyson and shortly after was reunited with his family.
TKM has taught me my pre-scenting ritual. I get my dog out and acclimate him the same way every time. Paying attention to the information my dog might relay to me gives me a pretty good idea where the trail goes before the harness even goes on. Watch for that head turn
Bedford County Sheriffs Office K9 Handler Sgt. Keith Hall
January 29, 2024. At 1930 hours a female called in and advised that her approximately 30 year old son was having a mental breakdown. He was making threats to kill himself and do harm to those in the household. The male ran from the house after drinking a large bottle of vodka and injecting himself with a vial of insulin trying to overdose. K9 Hoover and I was called out to help track the male subject. While enroute a neighbor 2 houses up said they seen a male in their bushes in front of their house and take off running in an unknown direction. Upon arrival I obtained a scent article from the residence and got basic information to help Hoover and I. I acclimated Hoover in the last known area he was seen. Hoover during acclimation gave me two indications on a direction of travel. Hoover took track went straight down the road for about 150-170 yards and then turned left in the Woodline. The male was laying under a tree and found to be ok but with a sugar level of 30. Medics were brought up and treated the male and took him to the local hospital for treatment. The medics stated that if K9 Hoover hadn’t had found him, with the cold temps. and his sugar being very low it wouldn’t have been long before he went unconscious causing his health to deteriorate quickly. K9 Hoover got ice cream, couple handfuls of his favorite treats and pets from the deputies and troopers on scene. I would like to thank Deputy Byrd (K9 Dyson’s handler) from the Campbell County Sheriff’s office for coming out on the track with me.
Please note that some information about the below missions might not be included to avoid legal implications, etc.
1)Mission for Ntumisang and K9 Simon for Vipre Security in Gabarone, Botswana:
They were called to assist in the search for a missing person . The individual went missing on the 2nd of January. Ntumisang and Simon set off on the trail on the 5th of January. Simon was scented off clothes worn by the individual made available by the family.
After a trail of +/- 2km, Simon gave an NSI. It did not end at a road that it could be considered to be a vehicle pick up, but it still was a clear ID from Simon that there was no more scent to follow.
The community was asked to search from Simon's end point forward, and soon after, the individual was found, not far from where Simon gave his NSI, sadly deceased.
Ntumisang and Simon have not yet trained cadaver at the end of the trail, and I am sure if they had, Simon would have followed the trail all the way to the body.
Congratulations to Ntumisang and Simon for a job well done. Not only was it an old trail, but the oldest Simon has run.
Our condolences to the family and friends of the deceased.
2)Mission for Di and K9 Ice from KwaZulu-Natal.
On the 7th of January, they received a call out for a missing 60 year old hiker, missing for over 4 hours.
Ice scented off the missing persons car seat. Ice picked up the trail, and approximately 10 minutes into the trail, Di and Ice came across a gentleman on the path. Ice stopped in front of the gentleman (walking ID). The individual was identified as the missing person.
Congratulations to Di and Ice, this was their first.
3) Mission for Patrick and K9 Zena in Mpumalanga on the 15th of January.
Entry was gained onto a propery sometime over the weekend of the13th of January while the owner was away. Two tyres were stolen off her trailer, which was only noticed by the workers when they reported for duty on Monday the 15th of January. Zena was started where the tires were removed. About 400m into the trail, the tyres were found, hidden behind a shrub next to the road, possibly to be picked up by a vehicle at some point. From there, they continued the trail up to a homestead where Zena gave an ID. Investigations will proceed.
Congratulations and job well done, Patrick and Zena.
4)Mission for Emil and Mali from KwaZulu-Natal on the 17th of January.
A suicidal individual ran from his home. A search was launched by members of the community and others with tracking dogs. By late afternoon, the individual was still not located. Emil with Mali and Di with Ice was asked to help with the search. Emil and Mali were deployed and on trail around 19:30. It was not an easy trail, heavy rain, negotiating rivers, forests, mud, and on top of that contamination from the other searches and what also seems to be the same scent contamination from the individual moving around. +/- 2km into the trail Mali trailed to the individual walking on a path way and ID-ed on the individual.
This was Emil and Mali's first find.
Well done to all 4 teams... As always, thank you for your passion, commitment, and service to those in need.
Pittsylvania County Sheriff’s Office K9 Handler Deputy Larry Crews
January 26, 2024, we were called to run a trail on a missing person. The subjects vehicle was located within the yard with its driver side door opened but unknown on where the subject had gone. The subject has known medical issues which drew concern. Deputy L Crews and K9 Joker were utilized first. After obtaining a scent article the TEAM had to work passed chickens and an electric fence. After clearing this area the trail advanced from the yard into steep wooded terrain. Joker showed continuous pull before locating the subject deceased. Its not an outcome anyone wanted but thanks to Deputy Crews and Joker closure was brought to the family. This Unit continues to challenge themselves in training, playing out scenarios and incorporating components found in TKM.
INBTI Vice President and Pittsylvania County Sheriff’s Office K9 Handler Sgt. Michael Szelc.
On June 1, 2023 we were deployed in a neighboring county on a 78 year old man with dementia who had been missing for 7 hours. The man was last seen sitting in a chair on a front porch of a residence. No scent article was available to collect bit the chair he sat in was not contaminated by anyone. Using the chair, K9 L.E. was cast around the area last seen before presenting the article. Nose down, tail up, she led behind the residence along thick briar and kudzu patches. Working behind adjoining properties she showed a lot of interest down a steep ravine. We attempted to continue, but with the steep grade of land and heavy thicket we decided to put her up for safety and search by foot. The elderly man was safely located laying in the bottom in a stream. Medical attention was given to him for scrapes and bruises before he was returned home. Reading a dogs behavior changes and different postures is important to learn and understand. Thank you Kevin!