PULASKI COUNTY, Ky. (WKYT) - Some dogs and their owners are learning a special set of skills this week in southern Kentucky.
Volunteers are training their dogs on how to search for missing persons or bodies. The training is going on in Pulaski County.
"As the dogs learn to indicate or show us that they found what they are seeking, they are taught to perform a specific task, like sit or scratch," says Matthew Zarella with American Patriot K-9.
Zarella is from Rhode Island. He's one of the people training volunteers in Kentucky. Many of the volunteers say they're learning skills that have been unavailable locally.
Tammie Bumgardner, with Canine Search, Inc., says police often depend on volunteer organizations when search and rescue missions turn into recovery operations.
"We are also working more frequently with law enforcement, helping them find when crimes have been committed," Bumgardner says.
Experts say the training will also provide skills that would hold up in courtroom testimony, if the cases come to that.
Zarella says the handlers will receive international certifications once the training is complete.