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For years, dogs have been trained in scent detection. From search and rescue dogs that find survivors after disaster, to cancer-sniffing dogs, and service dogs trained to detect deadly allergens, dogs’ exceptional olfactories combined with their ability to communicate with us makes them perfect for scent detection.
Now, dogs are being used in a new way – to combat child pornography!
Two dogs in the nation have been specifically trained to sniff out hard drives, thumb drives and other technological gadgets that could contain child pornography.
One such dog, a 2-year old yellow Labrador named Thoreau, is working hard for the Rhode Island state police.
The Providence Journal reports,
… the dog assisted in its first search warrant in June pinpointing a thumb drive containing child pornography hidden four layers deep in a tin box inside a metal cabinet. That discovery led the police to secure an arrest warrant.
Thoreau received 22-weeks of training at the Connecticut State Police Training Academy where he learned to sniff out devices that could contain the illegal images in exchange for food.
“If it has a memory card, he’ll sniff it out,” Detective Adam Houston, Thoreau’s handler, says.