I saw this and thought it was good news.
January 26, 2009
FROM STNG WIRE REPORTS
Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart on Monday introduced the latest hero of his department, a 1 1/2-year-old bloodhound who located and rescued a suicidal man submerged in a south suburban river last Sunday.
The river rescue was carried out by Melanie, a bloodhound, and her partner, Sheriff’s police Officer Jim Pacetti, on Jan. 18, Dart said at a press conference Monday.
Sheriff’s police got a call about 5 p.m. regarding a despondent man who had told his parents he was going to kill himself. Police traced his cell phone to a forest preserve near 87th Street and LaGrange Road in unincorporated Lyons Township, but were unable to locate the 36-year-old man.
Melanie was called in around 8 p.m., according to a release from Dart's office. The dog sniffed a pillowcase, then led officers into the woods.
She followed a trail for a quarter-mile before venturing west for 300 yards, north 250 yards and 50 more yards to the east, where, about 9:30 p.m., she found the man semi-conscious and half-submerged in water. Temperatures were around 5 degrees and the man was not wearing shoes and could not move, the release said.
Melanie became a member of the Sheriff’s Department last year, thanks to a donation by 832 K9’s Deputy Dogs, a not-for-profit group based in Florida. Of the 17 dogs in the Sheriff’s K9 Unit, she is the only one specifically trained to search for missing people.
Dart said the man might have frozen to death without Melanie.
At the same press conference, Dart introduced the newest member of the K9 unit, a pit bull rescued from a southwest suburban shelter. Elliott Ness, a 4-year-old pit bull rescued from a Burr Ridge shelter last year, is the county’s first dog trained to locate cadavers.
The Sheriff’s Department was linked to Elliott Ness thanks to the efforts of Burr Ridge-based Angel 4 Cause Rescue, the release said. The dog was rescued from an abusive environment and still shows signs of hesitancy, according to the sheriff's office, but has quickly taken to cadaver work.
Partnered with Sheriff’s Police Officer Debbie Thedos, Elliott was certified as a cadaver dog by the North American and Illinois Police Work Dog Associations after just three months of training.
Dog behavior expert and nationally syndicated newspaper columnist/radio host Steve Dale said pit bulls and other “bully breeds” can be saved and rehabilitated.
“So many people have misconceptions about pit bulls and similar dogs, and because of that, many never get adopted from shelters,” Dart said. “Many of these dogs, like Elliott, can be saved and worked with to lead happy, healthy, productive lives.”