Tag Archives: animals

Enthusiastic Police Puppy Passes Training Test

A video clip posted to Twitter by a British police department showing a puppy police dog passing one of his training exams  has gone viral.   The young canine’s enthusiasm for nabbing the target is clear, requiring its trainer to pull him away from the pretend suspect.  According to Inspector Inspector Tariq Butt, who posted the video online:

‘I think this one is going to make it…..police dog in training #PuppyLove’.

He’ll be top dog one day! Enthusiastic police puppy is filmed sprinting after ‘suspect’ and trying his best to maul him during cute training exercise [via Daily Mail]

Lassoing a Calf from a Police Car

Paris, Tennessee resident David Bell recently volunteered to help local police when they were dispatched to a call of a calf on the run on highway 79.  Henry County Sheriff Monte Belew drove down the highway with Bevil sitting on the hood, who succeeded in roping in the calf.

“Aight folks, I got David Bevill on the front of my patrol car,” Sheriff Belew narrated in the video. “We got a calf out in the middle of Lake Highway… We gonna try to rope him right here.”

As Belew’s vehicle approached the cow, Bevill began to circle the rope above his head.

It only took one try. Bevill tossed the rope and it landed perfectly around the calf’s neck.

“We just roped him. We just got him!” Sheriff Belew said as Bevill hopped off the front of the patrol vehicle.

Tennessee sheriff, cowboy rope calf in roadway [via Fox 13 News]

A Litte Bit of History: The U.S. Once Tried Using Pigeons as Smart Bombs

Source: Project Pigeon

During World War II, bombing runs were made by the armed air forces of both sides.  However, accuracy was a major problem, as at the time bombs would often miss the intended target by a distance measured in miles, not feet.  As a result, a massive number of bombs and planes needed to be used to ensure at least some of the bombs hit their targets.  To combat this, the U.S. at one point considered using pigeons as smart bombs, as crazy an idea as that may seem.  The pigeon guided bomb project was eventually dropped, however, not necessarily because it wouldn’t have worked but because of more general funding issues.  Project Pigeon was revived by the Navy in 1948, but it was canceled five years later when the reliability of electronic guidance systems was proven.

That Time the U.S. Tried to Steer Bombs with Pigeons [via Popular Mechanics]

Norway has a Specialized Police Unit for… Reindeers

The Norwegian Police Service actually has a branch dedicated to overseeing reindeer herding in an area comprising 27,000 square miles of remote forest in the country’s rugged northwest.

Reindeer police work in pairs during week-long shifts, following reindeer tracks wherever they might lead. The officers spend the night in small cabins dotting the countryside, and most often come across the Sami, indigenous people who depend upon the reindeer for survival. The officers settle disputes among herders, assist families moving their reindeer from one island to another, and generally help out in whatever way they can. They also check fishing permit and write the occasional citation to speeding snowmobilers.

Norway’s Reindeer Police Are Here to Save the Day [via Wired]

Police Dogs Being Used to Sniff Out Child Porn

Law enforcement is now using dogs specially trained to sniff out electronic storage media such as memory sticks, SD cards, and thumb drives.  The dogs of course can’t tell if there is actually something illegal recorded on the media (like child porn), but they are a valuable tool to finding such items when they otherwise might go overlooked by human searchers.  As a recent example, the thumb drive containing digital evidence reportedly used to put away Subway’s former spokesman Jared Fogle for possession of child pornography was found by a canine detector that had been trained to find such electronic devices.

After they finished their initial sweep, a new detective was brought in. He was an altogether different species of investigator: a black Labrador retriever named Bear, who set about sniffing in corners of the house. The dog had previously spent some eight months training to smell electronics, specifically USB thumb drives, memory sticks, SD cards or other small storage systems that could hide digital contraband. Humans had been removing electronics from the house all morning, though later inspection of these items would be less fruitful than hoped. But, with a handler in tow, Bear froze in front of a secret hiding spot. There, tucked away, officials found a thumb drive. “You think about investigators going into a house and trying to find a microSD card that is as big as a fingernail,” Bear’s trainer Todd Jordan told Fox 59 in July. “It will take investigators hours, especially if someone is trying to hide it.”

It is a  secret exactly which chemical in the electronic storage media the dogs are trained to sniff out, but it is thought to be an adhesive commonly used in their manufacture.

Meet the latest weapon against child porn: sniffer dogs [via Washington Post]

Pit Bulls as Police Dogs, Low Cost Yet Effective Option

Police departments around the U.S. have started using pit bulls as police dogs, accomplishing the twin goals of saving thousands of dollars and rescuing the dogs from shelters where they may have otherwise been put to sleep for lack of interested owners.  Despite the stigma pit bulls have as being aggressive and even dangerous dogs, so far the program has been met with praise by officers.

Universal K9 trains the dogs it selects from shelter Austin Pets Alive! and then places them in police departments around the country at no charge.  The New York-based Animal Farm Foundation provides funding to Universal K9 for training in narcotics, explosives, and arson detection as well as tracking missing persons.

The Poughkeepsie Police Department in New York welcomed the state’s first pit bull police dog late last year, while other states like Washington and Texas have used pit bulls for several years now.

Since the program’s inception two years ago, 11 pit bulls have been placed with police departments.

US police departments are training and adopting pit bulls instead of pure breed dogs to save money [via The Independent] and Meet the first official “pit bull” police dog in the state of New York [via CBS News]

Dutch Police Train Eagle to Take Down Drones

Last week we posted about Tokyo police using a drone outfitted with a net which was being used to capture other drones that ventured too close to government buildings or other sensitive locations.

Well, the Dutch are the first to come up with a far simpler, low-tech solution to knocking out unwanted drones – using a trained eagle.

These eagles are trained to see the drones as prey. Using their hunting instinct, they intercept the device mid-air and carry it to a safe landing place. They’re rewarded with a piece of meat after each successful capture. The Dutch police began testing the use of the birds last year, and this week announced the results from the trial period. The eagles successfully brought down the drones 80 percent of the time.

Hit the jump for the video. Continue reading Dutch Police Train Eagle to Take Down Drones

What Happens to Drug-Sniffing Dogs when Pot Becomes Legal?

With the latest states to approve marijuana for recreational use, it creates a problem for law enforcement when it comes to some drug-sniffing dogs. Traditional drug sniffing dogs can detect four drug-related odors – cocaine, methamphetamine, heroin, and marijuana. However, they are unable to signal to the handler which drug they are hitting on nor can they tell the amount of drugs present.  As a result, police departments in states where marijuana will soon become legal for recreational use may have to think about moving towards three odor dogs and possibly even retiring their current dogs.  Why? Someone in possession of both marijuana and cocaine (or evidence of other crimes such as a knife or a gun)  might be able to beat the charge if they can successfully claim the dog hit on the marijuana scent only (albeit as a practical matter this might be a difficult defense to amount in the court of law).  Or, what if the person has marijuana only (think lawsuit for police harassment).  On the other hand, it’s not easy to retrain a four-odor dog to stop responding to marijuana, or to put such a dog through expensive and time-consuming testing to demonstrate it is no longer interested in finding weed.  In the same way, switching to new dogs is expensive, as drug-sniffing dogs can cost in the neighborhood of $10,000 each.  Listen to the podcast below for more about the issue.

What Happens to Drug-Sniffing Dogs when Pot Becomes Legal? [via Oregon Public Broadcasting] and What Good Is A Pot-Sniffing Dog When Pot Is Legal? [via Forbes]