Michigan State Police search dogs go high-tech

Dec 11, 2011

In November 2010, Michigan State Police helped search for a 70-year-old dementia patient in Northern Michigan.

One of the MSP's tracking dogs,  a four-year-old shepherd named Bane, disappeared after it chased a deer.

Sgt. David Yount commands the canine unit. He said it was an emotional loss, but an expensive one as well.

"You're talking about an investment of about $35,000 -- by the time you put the man hours in that it takes to train the dog -- and purchasing the dog is anywhere from $6,000 to $8,000 for an untrained dog," he said.

Yount said a group called Friends of Canines and the Riverview Firefighters Union recently donated $5,000. It was enough to outfit all of the department's 32 dogs with GPS collars.

Yount says the devices will help protect the dogs, but more importantly, help find and rescue missing or injured people.

"If we locate them in a thick forest area, we can look on this mapping system and see the easiest way out, and get them to medical attention a lot sooner or to an area to pick up a helicopter," he says.