The Sheriff’s Department in Manatee County adopted Gia from Bishop Animal Shelter with the idea that they could train this timid girl to be their next K-9 crime fighting pup. Gia is specifically trained to detect hidden electronic devices such as flash drives, hard drives, and even memory cards that potentially hold child pornography.
With the FBI estimating there are more than 750,000 predators online at any given moment, there is a growing need for dogs that can detect these hidden objects when they search a home. Dogs of this nature are so rare that less than ten exist in the world. One was used to help convict former Subway spokesman Jared Fogle.
Jack Hubball, a chemist, has helped discover compounds in electronic devices that a dog can sense. From a Bloomberg report:
After months of training, the dogs were able to detect the odor of the chemical in people’s hands, concrete blocks, metal boxes and clothing. The dogs also had to ignore distracting smells such as food and coffee.
Detective Joni Zimmermann told WFLA, “She’s like using a flashlight in a dark room. Because you just want that extra tool to kind of help you.”
According to WFLA, Lt. Richie Cunningham said:
Why do we want to buy a dog trained already, when we can train it in house, save the money? They’re just like any other dog. They’ve just been abandoned in a shelter.
We are sure that Gia aspires to be like another crime fighting pup, Bear, who according to Discover Magazine, has gotten more than 30 case requests under his paw.