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East Peoria Times-Courier - East Peoria, IL
  • Local couple has mantrailing bloodhounds

  • A local couple wants to offer their services to anyone who needs them. They have trained countless hours and are ready to assist people in need.

    Their helpful tools are the noses of their three bloodhounds.
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  • A local couple wants to offer their services to anyone who needs them. They have trained countless hours and are ready to assist people in need.
    Their helpful tools are the noses of their three bloodhounds.
    Ed and Sandra Carr of Washington have had bloodhounds for about 13 years.
    Daisy was their first pure-bred bloodhound. Daisy’s sire Tigger is well-known all over the world and is in the Guinness World Records for having the longest ears the Carrs said. Daisy was bred and the Carrs have two of her pups, Annie and Oakley, both show dogs.
    Bloodhounds are known for their trailing abilities through scent.
    “It’s what they’re born and bred to do,” Sandra said.
    While Sandra took Daisy to dog shows, Ed took her out on the trails.
    Over time, the Carrs met more like-minded people and have learned more and more about bloodhounds and their capabilities.
    They also discovered the American Mantrailing Police & Work Dog Association in Indiana where Ed has spent a lot of time working with his dogs when he is not working at Caterpillar.
    The Carrs operate Timber Creek Bloodhounds. Their business card states they are a “AMA expert certified mantrailing team.” They take their dogs to do demonstrations at various events around the area. They have done demonstrations for Paws Animal Clinic, the Washington Library and for the Women in the Outdoors program in Chillicothe.
    “Around here we have not really had the opportunity to take them mantrailing for missing people,” Ed said.
    The Carrs are anxious to help. They talked about instances in the news when people were missing where they felt they could lend a hand with their dogs. However, Sandra said they must be called to assist. They cannot just show up.
    “We’re strictly volunteer. All of the training we do out of our pockets and if we get called out, we don’t ask for payment,” Sandra said.
    The Carrs said they will also do free training in area parks for people who are interested.
    After all of the time and money the Carrs have spent with their bloodhounds, it might seem odd to some that they don’t expect payment.
    “The way I look at it, you can’t put a price on human life,” Ed said.
    The way a bloodhound can track a person is through their scent. According to information provided by the Carrs, the human body produces scent from the shedding of skin cells called rafts. About 40,000 cells are shed by the body each minute. When a person is in an area these rafts create a scent pool.
    Page 2 of 2 - Normally, an article of the missing persons is given to the dog to smell before the hunt begins. The Carrs said that bloodhounds have more olfactory scent cells than any other breed — 300 million, compared to a German Shepherd, which has 220 million.
    Sandra added that a bloodhound is the only breed that is recognized in the court of law. The evidence can be used as long as the dog handler keeps a good track record of their dog.
    The Carrs, often have their two daughters, Stormy and Sunny, assist in a mantrailing demonstration. On this particular day, Stormy left her hair tie on the street. The two sisters walked down the street about a half block and sat separately in a parking lot out of the dog’s view.
    Ed put the harness on Daisy and showed the dog the hair tie. He told her to get to work. Daisy walked around the area, making a wide circular sweep. Then, she turned the direction the girls went and followed her nose. The dog picked up speed the closer she got to her destination. Once she spotted Stormy, she went to her and licked her face. Sunny was also sitting in plain view, but Daisy was not distracted from her target.
    There are some factors that can affect scent, including extreme cold or hot and dry temperatures, stray animals and wind direction.
    The Carrs have confidence in their dogs. They once did a search in which they laid a trail using Stormy’s scent and waited for 72 hours. During this time, it rained and was windy. There was a soccer game in the area as well, yet their dog still did very well.
    “I’ve spent 45 minutes laying out a trail and they find me in 10 minutes,” Sandra said.
    Another time they used a piece of gum Sandra chewed for a few minutes and waited for 25 hours before the search with successful results.
    “They’ll run theirselves to death for ya. We’ve done two to three miles tops,” Ed said.
    “I give them a lot of praise,” he said.
    Sandra said doing a search gives them a rush.
    “We would loved to get called out in this area,” she said. “We would go anywhere. We would go out of state if we had to.”
    For more information, call 621-3255.

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