Bloodhound named Baxter joins Albany County Sheriff's Department

October 04, 2017 05:57 PM

ALBANY COUNTY - Baxter has a lot of charm, but it's his nose that gives him an edge at work.

He's a two-year-old bloodhound.  He recently joined the Albany County Sheriff's Department, bringing the number of its K9s to 10.

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"We have explosives dogs.  We have drug dogs.  All of our explosives and drug dogs also are trackers, as well," said Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple.  "But again, the bloodhound is famous for its tracking.  They can separate the scent and go!"

Baxter is paired with Jerry Paris, who is fire coordinator, emergency services coordinator, and a member of the search and rescue team.

"We also use our drone program that the sheriff supported and got us a drone," said Paris.  "We use it specifically for search and rescue work.  With our drone capability and now having Baxter on the ground, I think we'll be second to none in the state with the program we're going to end up having."

Baxter was donated by a Rochester handler who was injured.

"He will serve a little bit of tracking for law enforcement, but primarily what we want him to do is look for lost kids, lost hikers in the Thacher Park region, whatever it may be," said Sheriff Apple.

We watched as Paris gave Baxter a piece of my clothing to smell, and then give him the command to find me.

Baxter is friendly and sweet, but put on his harness and he's all business.

"Tracking would be basically he'll have his nose to the ground, picking up a ground scent.  If you noticed when he came around the corner, when his nose was to the ground, the ears basically funnel the scent to the nose, the wrinkles on the face help trap the scent," said Paris.

I was hidden behind a building a good distance away and the wind was blowing.

Even so, Baxter was able to find me within just a few minutes.

He was pleased; he works for praise.

With his face and his nose, this new partnership smells like a win-win for Albany County.


Kumi Tucker

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