Ohio Department of Natural Resources gets first K9 officer for Northeast Ohio

SPENCER LAKE, OH (WOIO) - The Ohio Department of Natural Resources is welcoming several new members to their law enforcement division.

Three new K9 officers started training last November, and two more will arrive later this year.

In Northeast Ohio, the new K9 officer is named Finn. His handler and trainer is State Wildlife Officer Jeremy Carter.

Finn was born in Germany, and chosen for the team because of his intelligence, bravery and scent abilities. The average canine nose is about a thousand times more powerful than the average human nose.

"If we're after someone and they throw evidence down, like a gun or a knife or something, the dog, he's looking for human odor, so he'll find whatever has a strong human odor and he'll alert on it here," said Carter.

That's not all. The canines can be trained to pick up scent, helping them to learn to locate missing people.

"They can track humans, they can smell their odor, and he will lead me, hopefully, to the person I want him to find," Carter said.

In addition, the Division of Wildlife K9s are learning special skills, skills their police K9 counterparts may not know. That includes finding fish that have been hidden on boats during fishing season.

"Lake Erie, walleye and perch are the big fish up there, and unfortunately, people always want to abuse the law. They hide fish on us, and the dogs will be able to detect and tell us if there's any hidden fish anywhere," said Carter.

The duo train at least six hours a week on Finn's special skills. He's been out in the field for just over a week now. K9s can work up to eight years before they retire.

For more on the new K9s at ODNR, visit their website.

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