The first two RCMP canine teams to be taught to sniff out human remains have graduated from the force’s police dog training centre in central Alberta. RCMP working dog Genie sits beside a box to indicate that human remains are contained inside in an undated police handout image. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-RCMP

Police dogs trained to detect human remains

RCMP dogs get trained in central Alberta to detect human remains

The first two RCMP canine teams to be taught to sniff out human remains have graduated from the force’s police dog training centre in central Alberta.

What makes their training even more unusual is that real human remains were used.

Mounties say they are the only Canadian police agency to do so.

Typically, animal remains or medical waste are used.

The human remains used for training at Innisfail, Alta., are provided by donors and their families through the Nova Scotia Medical Examiner Service.

The force says the dogs’ added skill set will help collect evidence, make progress in historical investigations and provide closure to grieving families.

“Using real human remains enables us to teach the dogs the exact odour they will be looking for. This way, they can rapidly differentiate between animal and human remains and locate human remains more effectively,” trainer Sgt. Robert Heppell said in a release Monday.

The four dog teams participating in the initial training round were from British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba and Nova Scotia.

The dogs from B.C. and Nova Scotia have completed their training, while the others from Alberta and Manitoba are expected to finish by the end of this week.

Related: Snow falls, search continues in Silver Creek

There are 166 RCMP dog teams across Canada.

The Canadian Press

Just Posted

Firearms and fentanyl among items seized in police searches

Keith Seymour, 35, arrested on numerous outstanding warrants including kidnapping and extortion

More seniors in Terrace area struggling to afford food

The number of adults who used the Terrace Churches Food Bank jumped by 70 per cent from last year.

Terrace Peewees win provincials

The Midgets won bronze and Bantams finished fifth, with the female Midgets still playing

Bigger and safer bridge to be built across the Nass

New two lane bridge will accomodate heavier commercial vehicles

B.C. NDP offers tax breaks to jumpstart LNG Canada in Kitimat

‘We’re not giving away more money,’ Premier John Horgan says

Vancouver Aquarium’s resident octopus released into ocean

Staff let the Giant Pacific octopus go into the waters near Bowen Island so she can reproduce

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

Canadian cities hold March for our Lives events in wake of Florida shooting

Hundreds of people support the massive March for Our Lives event in Washington, D.C.

Health officials called after acid spill near B.C.-Alberta border leaks into creek

Tanker truck crashed south of Dawson Creek, spilling 17,000 litres of hydrochloric acid

Embattled band Hedley plays last show in B.C. before hiatus

About 3,000 tickets had sold for final performance at Kelowna’s Prospera Place

Trudeau to exonerate B.C. First Nations chiefs hanged in 1860s

Prime Minister to absolve Tsilhqot’in chiefs in relation to deaths of 14 construction workers

Canucks sing the Blues as they fall to St. Louis 4-1

Berglund nets two, including the game-winner, to lift St. Louis over Vancouver

Calving season brings hope for Cariboo ranchers

Still a lot of work ahead to recover from the wildfires

Canada’s Kaetlyn Osmond wins figure skating world title

The 22-year-old fwon the women’s singles crown with her Black Swan routine

Most Read