Investigating the Sensitivity of Cadaver- Detection Dogs to Aged, Diluted Decomposition Fluid

Publisher:
The International Association for Identification
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Citation:
Journal of Forensic Identification, 2019, 69 (3), pp. 367 - 377
Issue Date:
2019-07-31
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Cadaver-detection dogs (also known as human remains detection dogs) are used worldwide to locate deceased victims and human remains. Ethical restrictions often prevent the dog handlers from using cadavers as training aids, resulting in a reliance on pseudo-scents or human tissues, such as blood, bone, and decomposition fluid. Often these aids must be re-used many times because of the difficulty in obtaining new materials. The aim of this study was to investigate the dogs' sensitivity to aged human decomposition fluid samples that are used as a training aid. Human decomposition fluid was collected and serially diluted to 1 part-per-trillion (10u) and aged up to two years. The samples were presented throughout the aging process to three police accredited cadaver-detectior. dog teams under standard indoor training conditions. The dogs were capable of detecting the oldest and lowest dilution levels of decomposition fluid samples. Ongoing training to retain this level of sensitivity is recommended. The results of these trials indicate human decomposition fluid is a valid training aid for cadaver-detection dogs.
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