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New dog in town will help find missing people

“Hey Rose, go for a walk.”

With those words, Granville Police Department’s newest recruit, a bloodhound named Rose, will be on the trail.

Rose is not your typical police dog though, her training is in scent discrimination.

“Most police dogs are tracking dogs,” said Sgt. Aaron Huyett, who handles Cadillac, a K9 with the department.  “Rose is a trailing dog.”

The difference, he said, is tracking dogs like Cadillac are trained to look for ground disturbance, something different in an area.  Trailing dogs like Rose are trained to find a specific scent they are given, which can be helpful in finding missing people — which is why she is here.

Eight-month-old Rose just arrived in West Virginia a little over a week ago, but the journey to get her here began nearly a year ago.

According to Monica Everly, general manager of Home Instead, a senior care organization dedicated to enhancing the lives of aging adults, her organization partnered with Paul Coley, CEO of Scent Evidence K9, who provides communities and law enforcement agencies with training to improve their methods of locating missing persons.

Coley, a former bloodhound handler for the FBI, developed the first scientifically tested and proven scent collection and preservation kits and trains bloodhounds to use them.  

Using the kits, Coley has had huge success in his home state of Florida with finding individuals who have Alzheimer’s and dementia, but also children who are autistic and other individuals who are at risk for wandering, Everly said.  She knew this could be useful here in West Virginia as well.

“We have a lot of children who have autism, we have a lot of individuals who have Alzheimer’s. So that’s one reason we wanted to partner with Paul through Scent Evidence K9 and bring this to the state,” she said.  “I grew up here in West Virginia and being the general manager at Home Instead I see individuals all the time who are at risk for wandering.  It’s also children in the foster system who are at risk for wandering.”

When Everly found out about an opportunity for federal grant money through Senator Shelley Moore Capito’s office, she took it and thought a local department like Granville would make a perfect partner.

In addition to Rose and the cost of her training, the $150,000 grant will provide 4,000 of Coley’s Scent Collection Kits to be distributed for free to families with individuals who might be at risk of wandering, along with literature and other informational materials.

The kits include a preservation jar, gloves, gauze for scent collection, a label to mark the collection date, and evidence tape to seal it after collection.  

Everly said they also contain a flash drive that has a pre-preparedness plan on it.  Recent photos of the individual and their medical history can be loaded onto the drive.  For children with autism, information about whether they are verbal or nonverbal can be saved along with any possible triggers, so they are not scared when found.

“The police will be able to put the flash drive right into the cruiser so they will have a picture right there and can start tracking immediately,” Everly said.

Collecting a sample is as easy as wiping the gauze on the skin of the individual, putting the gauze in the jar and sealing it.

“We can do a scent collection off of literally anything, but the strongest, most effective form of that scent is taken straight from you, straight from your skin,” Huyett said.  “Their research shows that that scent is accurate for our dogs up to 10 years.”

During her training in Tallahassee, Fla., Huyett said Rose did a half mile trail from a scent jar that had been collected nine years ago.

“We just open up a jar with their scent in it, present it to her, and then she goes and finds them,” said PFC Brittany Kolb, Rose’s handler.

Since Rose is still young and all of her training so far has been in the Florida climate, Huyett and Kolb are continuing her training in different weather conditions, temperatures and terrains.  

“She just saw snow for the first time when she arrived, so that was different for her,” Kolb said. 

Huyett said during one training exercise they laid gauze on a person’s phone for just three minutes and Rose was able to find them almost a mile away.

“It’s pretty remarkable what they are capable of doing and what we can do to get them to find somebody,” Huyett said.

Rose hasn’t gotten to see too much official action yet, but was called to assist the Westover Police Department in their search for a wanted felon over the weekend.

Huyett said he anticipates a lot of uses for Rose and the department is really excited to have her.  

Currently, Rose is the only law enforcement bloodhound in Monongalia County.  Jess, a bloodhound with the Shinnston Police Department who was also trained by Coley, has found a 13-year-old at risk for wandering and also an individual with Alzheimer’s since she arrived there in January.  

The free scent kits will be available as soon as funding from the grant is released.  Once they have arrived, they will be available at various local agencies.  Until then, Everly said Home Instead has a small number currently available.  Those interested in receiving a kit can call them at 304-906-4333. 

The Scent Preservation Kit can also be purchased for $19.99 on Coley’s website,, or on Amazon.

“We just want the community to know that she is here,” Kolb said.  “If you want to buy your own kit, that’s perfectly fine or we will have them.  We want them out there in the community.  It’s just getting the word out.”