A Good Nose for Police Work

K-9 career off to great start

By Julie Carey
|  Friday, Mar 26, 2010  |  Updated 9:01 PM EDT
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Fairfax Co. K9 Saves Woman

NBCWashington.com

Schnoz -- one of Fairfax County's finest.

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Fairfax Co. K9 Saves Woman

It was a big week for a Fairfax County officer and his four-legged partner. They found a missing woman in the Mason Neck State Park who was near death.
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He goes by the name "Schnoz" with good reason, and his police work in the past month is the envy of the Fairfax County Police Department: He's snagged a carjack suspect and rescued a missing woman.

Schnoz is a 2-year-old bloodhound and along with his handler Master Police Officer Pete Masood, his career is off to a great start. 

Three weeks ago, Schnoz helped with an important arrest. He tracked a scent from a carjacked taxi that had been ditched and led officers straight to the suspect's door.

Perhaps more important was his find this week. On Monday, rangers at Mason Neck State Park found an abandoned vehicle in one of their parking lots. When two days of searching turned up nothing, they called on Schnoz and Pete.

After running the license plate, police obtained an article of the owner's clothing. Schnoz began his search after dark but quickly hustled down a path and then bolted into the woods.  At the base of a tree, covered in leaves he sniffed out the mentally disabled woman.  Incoherent and suffering from hypothermia, she was rushed to a hospital.

"It's a fantastic feeling," said Masood. "It's great to take their innate ability to hunt animals and use it to hunt humans, locating people and hopefully saving some lives and catching some bad men."

Fairfax County is one of the few police departments in northern Virginia that has bloodhounds on the force. The dogs were added to the K-9 team in 2003.

Schnoz and his sister, Cody, are the second generation, with long police careers ahead if they keep their noses to the grindstone -- and the ground.
 

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