Bloodhounds, law enforcement's best friend
INVERNESS, Fl. (NBC) -- If dogs are man's best friend, one dog has risen to the top of the pecking order when it comes to police work.
When Katelyn Crosby was but 13-years old.
A deputy's bloodhound found her.
She had gone missing and was unconscious deep in the woods.
“I don't think I’d be alive if that bloodhound didn't come out there," said Crosby.
Increasingly, bloodhounds are becoming law enforcement best friend.
Thanks to Duke and Angela Snodgrass who have became the nation's pre-eminent bloodhound trainers.
Angela's 26-year-old sister, "Pixie" was abducted in rural Indiana more than three decades ago. Gone without a trace.
Her body was found 10-weeks later.
"This is what is so important about the blood hounds - is that 10 weeks was absolute torture,” said Angela Snodgrass.
Pixie's murderer was never found.
"If one would have been trained at that point, at that time, we could have really done some good. But there was nothing available,” said Duke Snodgrass.
Duke's son Cody, haunted by his aunt's unsolved murder, became a deputy.
His partner is a bloodhound named Jimmy.
Then another tragedy: Cody died in a motorcycle accident.
"Pixie inspired Cody, and Cody inspired us,” said Angela Snodgrass.
Over the past decade, the non-profit charity named after Cody’s Badge, 832 K-9's Deputy Dogs, has donated 140 bloodhounds to law enforcement agencies in 29 states.
“Their ears are like little whisk brooms, when they move their head back and forth, it's actually sweeping the ground causing that odor to waffle up off the ground.”
One of the unique characteristics of bloodhounds is when they find what they're looking for, they're often gentle and loving. Which means they don't tear or bite and when they looking for a missing child, they often lay down right next to that scared little boy or girl.
Katelyn Crosby remembers that feeling:
"I’m grateful. I'm really grateful,” said Crosby.
Bloodhounds sniffing, tracking - doing what comes naturally.