While the use of dogs in law enforcement for the purposes of detecting drugs and bombs has become
common throughout the United States, the use of HRD dogs for investigative purposes is much more
uncommon. Even more rare is including HRD dogs’ indications and credentials  while applying for a
search warrant. Currently, there is minimal case law regarding the use of this tool within Wisconsin or the
United States. As of 2012, 12 search warrants have been granted with the assistance of CSS dogs’
indications and credentials.

Issues to be considered by LE when selecting an HRD dog team:
  • What has the team been trained to detect?
  • Has the handler maintained detailed training logs?
  • Has the dog been trained to detect only human remains, or is the dog team cross-trained in live
           person search?
  • What certification or proficiency has the team demonstrated?
  • What are the team's experiences and reliability?
  • Does the handler possess the ability to complete an accurate police report of their actions, and
           can the handler testify to their training and experience in court?
  • Does the HRD dog provide an indication that will not damage evidence?
  • Obtain a resume /CV of the dog team prior to search use.

Search issues to be considered by LE when using an HRD dog team:
  • Is the area to be searched public or private?
  • If private, are there exigent circumstances, consent, or a search warrant?
  • Does the Carroll Doctrine apply?
  • When is it ok to use more than one dog team?
  • Will using more than one dog team result in differing opinions which could harm the outcome of
           a homicide case?
CSS can be consulted to
assist Law Enforcement
agencies in credentialing a
potential HRD dog team.

Click here for a brief on
the suppression of canine
evidence in a 2008
homicide case (Wisconsin
v. Zapata.)
Canine Search Solutions
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