Elite sniffer dogs / Speziell ausgebildete Spürhunde

Here’s an aspect of the Madeleine McCann story that hasn’t received a detailed airing and sounds less fishy than the rest of it. We read of two specially trained sniffer dogs from Britain who were flown into Portugal. Elsewhere they are described as the only two dogs in the world who can detect that a corpse has been in a room.

In unseren Versuchen konnten Leichenhunde sogar noch nach einem Jahr einen Blutstropfen aufspüren. Auch, wenn die Stelle sorgfältig gereinigt wurde, riechen die Hunde das Blut. Dabei ist die benötigte Menge minimal, oft sehen wir mit freiem Auge beim besten Willen keinerlei Spuren, die Hunde melden aber trotzdem einen Fund.

(Interview on sniffer dogs, SZ)

Die Zeitung „Correio da Manh㓠ging am Freitag am weitesten mit der Meldung, dass die vor einem Monat aus England an die Algarve gebrachten Spürhunde „Leichengeruch“ an der Kleidung der Mutter und dem Stofftier Madeleines, das die Mutter häufig mitführt, entdeckt hätten.

(FAZ)

As far as I can tell, the two famous dogs are Eddie (a springer spaniel) and Frankie (a border collie), of South Yorkshire police. They are called victim recovery dogs (Leichenhunde; I suppose victim means a dead person). However, the two dogs who went to Portugal were Eddie and Keela (another springer spaniel). This accords with the reports that one dog was trained to sniff corpses and one trained to sniff minute amounts of blood.

Here is a picture of Frankie – who did not go to Portugal – looking as keen as me at the beginning of a hard day’s translating:

_39968872_frankie203.jpg

I was disappointed by the information on Dog News, where the only story dates from May.

There is a photo of Eddie and some more background on this Cork fm radio site. Here is Keela from the South Yorkshire police Dog Diary site, which has Keela’s diary for children:

keela2.jpg

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