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New KSP K-9 trained to sniff out electronic devices that could contain disturbing images

Updated: May. 10, 2021 at 5:14 PM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - A dog’s sense of smell is powerful-- sometimes 100,000 times better than ours. They’ve been known to sniff out people, drugs, disease and now electronic devices that could contain images of child abuse.

May is a lovable two-and-a-half year old Labrador ready to help solve crimes. She’s friendly, but serious, and her specialty is sniffing out hidden electronic devices for Kentucky State Police that may contain hundreds or thousands of images of child pornography.

May is a lovable two-and-a-half year old Labrador ready to help solve crimes.
May is a lovable two-and-a-half year old Labrador ready to help solve crimes.(WKYT)

“The odor that May detects, it’s a specific chemical used in the manufacturing process of electronic devices that have storage capabilities,” said detective Leslie Strong with KSP’s electronic crimes unit.

To put her to the test, May’s handler Detective Strong hid four electronic devices that might store disturbing images in a conference room. Thirty minutes later the devices emitted a specific odor that only a trained dog can smell, and off she went.

In less than five minutes, she found all of the hidden evidence and got a treat.

May is one of 51 K-9s in the country and the only one in the state qualified to do this. So far she’s been on four search warrants.

“In each search warrant she’s found some hidden devices that had child sexual abuse material on it and has allowed us to charge the perpetrators in a situation,” Detective Strong said.

The two have been a team for a month, and after every successful search, Detective Strong is amazed by May.

“Even though I know what she’s capable of, I’ve been through training with her, I’m still in that ‘wow this is so cool to see you in action’ you know,” Detective Strong said.

May also serves as a comfort dog when needed on difficult scenes.

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