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On a windy day in Southwest Riverside County, the Sheriff’s Department introduces the latest member to their canine team, an 11-week-old female Bloodhound named, Windy.
“Windy joins the ranks of a well-established canine team that has assisted in the identification and locating of hundreds of individuals throughout Riverside County and the state of California through mutual aid collaboration. Since 1998, the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department has benefited from the canines’ ability to track individuals classified as criminal, at risk, or missing.” Stated Captain Geoff Raya, Commander, Cabazon Sheriff’s Station.
The Riverside County Sheriff’s Department canines are available after-hours and during weekend emergency response, according to recent release. Tracking dogs are often utilized in urban, mountain and desert communities. Recent casework has included the search for missing at risk elders, and abducted or runaway juveniles.
Consisting of 28 members, the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department canine division now includes four tracking dogs. “Riverside County public safety agencies rely heavily on these canines for their expertise in scent detection and tracking.” Raya said. Along with 11-week-old Bloodhound, Windy, the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department tracking team is comprised of Inga, a 7-year-old Bloodhound, Mandy, a 6-year-old Bloodhound, Marley, a 6-year-old German Shepherd.
According to Raya, Windy was chosen following a comprehensive selection process, and her partner, Deputy Robert Ochoa, will soon initiate the 1-year training process. “Unlike their patrol canine counterparts, tracking Bloodhounds are not easily interchangeable and remain with the same canine handler throughout their working career. In order to capitalize on the long-standing working relationship, the handler and Bloodhound are matched while the Bloodhound is a puppy, and spend every working moment together.” Stated Raya.
Windy, along with her supporting equipment and training, was acquired through a generous private donation to the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department canine program.