Meet Scarlett, the bloodhound puppy training to be a trailing dog with Kern County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue unit.
The unit is frequently faced with drowings in the Kern River and missing person searches.
At eight weeks old, Scarlett is already learning to follow scents and find people.
“Trailing is basically looking for someone off of scent out of your vehicle, your jacket,” said Search and Rescue team captain, Aaron Lynam, who owns Scarlett. “Basically you give (the dog) an article, and they can go out there and find the person using their nose on the trail.”
KCSO says her training will be like one big game of hide-and-seek and will take up to two years.
“Some of our trackers are following the footprints of the individual, but at some point and time, those tracks may disappear–in which case, the only remaining track would be the invisible scent trail that only the dog could follow,” said Search and Rescue Sergeant Steve Williams.
Scarlett joins five other dogs in the Search and Rescue unit as the second tracking dog.
“This dog and one other bloodhound we have are incredibly valuable tools and resources that you can’t get any other way,” Sergeant Williams said.