WETUMPKA, AL (WSFA) - A missing child, a criminal on the run, sometimes officers need some extra help to solve the case. Sometimes that help comes from something on four legs instead of two.
"Their ears and heads, as they fall down, they create a funnel," said Donna Wilson with 832 K9's Deputy Dogs. "That helps accentuate the scent. They can run for 24 hours, car trails, scent discriminate, they are wonderful tools if trained correctly."
Now, these bloodhounds are trained in Wetumpka.
"We have over 250 in the US and even some in Switzerland."
The company has a touching story. The non-profit is called 832 K9's Deputy Dogs. It was started in 2001 by a couple who lost their son. He was a deputy who worked with a bloodhound. So his parents started this non-profit to help honor his life.
"They took his life insurance money and his badge number, it was 832, that's where they got 832 K9's Deputy Dogs."
The couple who founded the group passed It on to Wilson about a year ago. She decided to move it to Wetumpka. It's quite a process. Once the dogs are born, they won't stay here for long.
"At eight weeks they go through our foster program. Our goal is for them to bring back Bart Simpson. We want them to take them everywhere you go so when the handlers take them to big cities like New York or Seattle and an ambulance goes by it won't affect their work."
After the foster program, the dogs are returned to the breeders when they are still less than a year old. The bloodhounds are then sent to special trainers for a few more months and then they are ready for their assignment. These dogs do everything to help find missing Alzheimer's patients to tracking the scent of criminals.
And the foster family isn't left out of the loop. When the dog helps solve a case the breeder will get in touch with the family and let them know the dog they help raise is making a difference.
"It really is about the bigger picture. It's about more than yourself. It's about helping other people."
You can help too! 832 K9's Deputy Dogs is always looking for volunteer foster families and folks who can make donations to help support their cause.
Here's a link to its website for more information.