MARSHALL COUNTY, Ala. - The Marshall County Sheriff’s Office has a new K9 unit to help sniff out suspects or anyone who may go missing in the area.
Dixie is a year and a half old bloodhound.
“She can distinguish one human scent from the next. She’s taught to identify who she’s tracking,” said Marshall County Reserve Sheriff’s Deputy Glen Pike. “You send two or three people out walking together, one of them leaves his keys there, you can get his scent off of his keys and she will go rear up on him excluding the others and that can be important.”
Those skills can mean the difference between life and death for those who go missing, like children or those with Alzheimer’s or dementia.
“I don’t think you can beat a bloodhound as far as tracking ability,” said Pike.
Pike told WHT News 19, Dixie was donated by a Springville woman when she was nine months old.
“She’s like any hyper kid that you’ve ever seen, just multiply that about four times. She’s wild,” laughed Pike.
Dixie has been training ever since with Pike ever since.
Pike worked with another bloodhound, named Bandi, during former sheriff Mac Holcomb’s leadership.
“She tracked down 28 people when she was with us over a two-year period, which is a phenomenal achievement, but she developed stomach cancer and we lost her,” said Pike.
Reserve deputy Patrick Easley is currently in training to be Dixie’s trainer.
The sheriff’s office would like to add a patrol dog to its force in the future.