Federal Emergency Management Agency

Dog Once on Brink of Death Becomes DC Pet Detective

A D.C. dog who is helping detectives sniff out clues was once nearly euthanized because of a genetic defect.

Kylie, a German shepherd, could not be a police dog because not all of her teeth grew in.

"She was going to be euthanized, but we gave her a FEMA test and determined she would be suitable for our work," said Gene Ryan, a paramedic for the D.C. Fire Department.

Ryan trained Kylie to be a cadaver dog.

In the past seven months, Kylie has assisted in dozens of searches throughout the D.C. region and in international disasters, working to recover remains.

Kylie's latest job was to find human remains at a construction site near a Southeast D.C. apartment building. Kylie and a K-9 named Ivy discovered a shallow grave with the remains of two women. 

The K-9s went back to the site Wednesday to search for more remains. No new remains were found.

In the meantime, Kylie continues to sharpen her skills.

"We train five or six days a week, two to three hours a day and so she remains proficient. Kylie can detect human hair, teeth, up to 50 [cubic centimeters] of blood," Ryan said.

But being a member of the family is Kylie's main job.

"My wife would be very upset if Kylie wasn’t part of our family. My 5-year-old adores the dog," Ryan said.

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