From locating missing children with autism to finding elderly persons who wander, Federal grants awarded to agencies and organizations in Florida, Tennessee, Georgia, and West Virginia are being used to protect and find people at high risk of wandering by implementing the Bringing the Lost Home Program in their communities. In Florida, The Alzheimer’s Project in Tallahassee, Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office, and Baker County Sheriff’s Offices were awarded the Kevin and Avonte Program: Reducing Injury and Death of Missing Individuals with Dementia and Developmental Disabilities. Kevin and Avonte grants were also awarded to Franklin County EMA and Rescue in Winchester, TN, Madison County Sheriff’s Office in Jackson, TN, and Liberty County Sheriff’s Office in Hinesville, GA. The Granville Police Department in West Virginia received a COPS grant in 2022 to implement the Bringing The Lost Home Program for their community.
The Bringing the Lost Home program provides scent discriminate K9 and scent discriminate K9 Team Response Protocol training, fully trained scent discriminate Bloodhounds, innovative scent collection technology, and a highly successful Scent Kit program for locating and protecting people at high risk of wandering in area communities.
Communities utilizing Bringing the Lost Home services have many lifesaving recoveries of missing persons with dementia, autism, and other cognitive impairments. Thousands of at-risk people have been protected via awareness campaigns and Scent Kit programs that allow families and caregivers to pre-collect the scent of a person who is at risk of wandering and store it for future use. If the person wanders, which happens 60% of the time for those with Alzheimer’s Disease and dementia, the Scent Kit provides an uncontaminated scent article for K9 responders so they can find the person fast and bring them home safely.
Here are a few highlights from our Bringing the Lost Home program grant partners:
The Alzheimer’s Project – Tallahassee, FL
The Alzheimer’s Project in Tallahassee was awarded the Kevin and Avonte grant in 2022. “We are proud of our partnership with Scent Evidence K9, the service provider for the grant resources. We have seen the results of the Bringing the Lost Home program in the areas that have already implemented it. This grant has allowed us to provide services to the Tallahassee Police Department and open the program up to additional agencies such as rural law enforcement agencies. Additionally, we recognize that children living with spectrum disorders are also at high risk for wandering. Being able to partner with Leon County Schools and Franklin County Sheriff’s Office will help get Scent Kits distributed to those families too,“ stated Alzheimer’s Project Inc. Executive Director, John Trombetta. Scent Evidence K9 CEO, Paul Coley, was conducting scent discriminate training in Franklin County in May 2023 when a 4-year-old child with autism went missing. Tallahassee PD Det. Paul Osbourne and K9 Jon Jon, a scent discriminate Bloodhound trained by Coley, responded to join the successful recovery of Noah Beebe.
“Please Bring Him Home” were the words a family member said to Paul Coley as he and the Tallahassee PD Bloodhound Team began the search for missing 4-year-old Noah Beebe. Coley had been conducting scent discriminate training with the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office earlier that morning. During the training FCSO Sgt. Drew Young got the call that an endangered child with autism had gone missing. Coley and Sgt. Young sped to the residence of the missing child with K9 Josie to begin searching. They collected a scent article from the child’s clothes using a pad from one of the Scent Kits Paul had delivered that week as part of the Bringing The Lost Home Program. Sgt. Young presented the Scent Jar to K9 Josie and they began trailing into a heavily-wooded marsh. En route, Coley called Tallahassee PD Detective Paul Osborne for backup and he loaded up his Bloodhound, K9 Jon Jon, and rushed to Franklin County. K9 Josie, a Lab that was only on her 3rd day of scent discriminate training was on the trail but grew tired in the thick Florida swampy terrain. Det. Osborne and K9 Jon Jon arrived on the scene shortly thereafter and the Tallahassee Bloodhound team used a Scent Kit to collect a new scent article from the child’s shoe and deployed again from the residence with Scent Evidence K9 CEO, Paul Coley. The crowd at the scene had grown to dozens of people and many vehicles. K9 Jon Jon took a whiff of the Scent Jar and took off into the woods. “The woods were so thick that Osborne and I had to hand the lead off to each other to get through,” said Coley. The trail was now 3 hours old. K9 Jon Jon pushed through the swampy woods for .25 miles and located the missing child in knee-deep water with only a shirt on. When they radioed in that they had found the missing boy, they could hear the cheers from all the people at the scene a quarter mile away. Read more HERE
Franklin County Sheriff’s Office K9 Dep. Sgt. Young and K9 Josie located an individual who had gone missing on a beach in July. Franklin County Sheriff’s Office is implementing the Scent Kit program and missing person response services awareness campaign to area schools through their SAFE program.
“The Franklin County Sheriff’s Office (FCSO) had the opportunity to present the SAFE Program to students and parents ranging from pre-k to high school at the Franklin County School Open House. The SAFE Program is a means of better communication between Franklin County First Responders and residents with special needs, or other disabilities regarding critical information before an emergency occurs. Any Franklin County resident with a disability or special need such as autism, Down syndrome, Alzheimer’s disease, deaf/blind, and other communication disorders or mental disabilities/limitations. FCSO also had the opportunity to present Scent Evidence K9 Scent Preservation Kits to the students and parents at the Franklin County School Open House. These Scent Preservation Kits went over extremely well, accepted widely by all parents. FCSO has passed out 53 Scent Preservation Kits at just two Open Houses in our county.”
Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office – Punta Gorda Florida
Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office has been a Bringing The Lost Home program partner for several years and has used its Scent Discriminate K9 training and Scent Kit program resources to locate the missing and protect those at risk in the community. Here is one of the latest finds from SEK9 Master Handler Cpl. Steven Sella and his superstar Bloodhound K9 Copper.
K9 Copper Doesn’t Give Up And Finds Missing 77-Year-Old Florida Woman With Dementia! DFC Steven Sella and K9 Copper from Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office were requested by the North Port Police Department on 1/30/23 to search for a missing 77-year-old woman who had on-set dementia. The woman had been missing for 7 hours and needed medication. Dep. Sella deployed Copper and trailed for an hour but had to stop due to the hot weather conditions. Aviation continued to search the area but was unable to locate the woman. Sella and Copper deployed again later when the weather cooled and obtained a scent article from the woman’s residence using a Scent Evidence K9 Scent Kit. They worked the trail from the place where the woman may have been sighted earlier in the morning. By this time the trail was 19 hours old. Copper trailed for several miles before coming to a stop. Dep. Sella took a moment to remember his training and gave his Bloodhound a break before resuming the trail at the last place Copper showed interest. They trailed through a neighborhood and eventually to a wooded area. K9 Copper walked to the edge of the wood line and began air scenting into the brush. Dep. Sella was shining his flashlight into the woods and heard a female calling out from deep inside the woods. Copper worked into the wooded area and they located the missing woman in the thick brush, alert and alive. She was transported to a local ER and reunited with her family.
“This is an extremely hard job for a K9 team dealing with environmental challenges and the pressure of finding the woman who needed medication. Sella and K9 Copper never gave up and they used their training and trailing skills to overcome the obstacles and find the woman and bring her home safe,” stated Scent Evidence K9 CEO, Paul Coley.
Coley presented DFC Sella with his Master Handler Certificate last year for his prolific and lifesaving K9 search deployments with K9 Copper. Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office is a participating Bringing The Lost Home Program agency and they have multiple missing person recoveries and suspect locations to their credit. Read about more CCSO finds HERE.
Franklin County EMA & Rescue – Winchester, TN
Franklin County EMA & Rescue was awarded the BJA grant in 2021. Handlers, Deputy Director Casey Jackson, his Bloodhound, K9 Ruger, and Rescue Squad member, Ryan Limbaugh, and Bloodhound, K9 Mandie, located a missing endangered 11-year-old in the Winchester area that year and have been successful in utilizing the Bringing The Lost Home program to find the lost and bring them home safe ever since. Here is one of their finds from 2022 where a Scent Kit that was prepared 10 months before the man went missing.
Tennessee Bloodhound Teams Use Scent Kit To Find Missing Man With Dementia! Franklin County EMA & Rescue received the call regarding a missing man with dementia near Tullahoma, TN. Scent Evidence K9 CEO, Paul Coley, just happened to be attending the Jack Daniel’s World Championship Invitational Barbecue in Lynchburg, TN with the Metro Moore EMA Bloodhound Team. Coley had just finished giving out 200 Scent Kits at his booth when he learned the missing man’s wife had prepared a Scent Kit for him back in January 2022. As neighboring agencies, Metro Moore County EMA and Franklin County EMA help each other with K9 Search deployments to locate missing persons.
The man had wandered from his home and had been missing for 5-6 hours. When the TN Bloodhound Teams arrived at the scent, the man’s wife provided them with the sealed Scent Kit. K9 Mandie (Franklin Co EMA) and K9 Hoss (Metro Moore Co EMA) were presented with the Scent Jar and the 2 scent discriminate Bloodhounds trailed approximately a mile through dense woods and neighborhoods to find the missing man. He was returned safely home to his wife, who later stated, “I need help, and having the Scent Kit helps me protect my husband when he goes missing by giving the K9 responders what they need to find him.”
Franklin County EMA & Rescue was awarded a federal grant that provided the Scent Kits for the community attending the Jack Daniels BBQ Championship. The Scent Kit that was provided for the missing man’s family is a wandering awareness and preparedness component of the Bringing The Lost Home Program that enhances K9 search response capabilities for people with dementia or autism. “We are honored to have trained and worked with these amazing Bloodhounds and handlers. Having the Scent Kit prepared and ready saved a lot of valuable time and the excellent trailing work by these handlers led to a fast and safe recovery,” stated Coley.
Liberty County Sheriff’s Office – Hinesville GA
Liberty County Sheriff’s Office was awarded the Kevin and Avonte grant in 2022. LCSO has been a Bringing The Lost Home program partner for several years and utilized the grant to expand services to their community. They do a great job of promoting the program to the community at events like the Special Olympics. Their K9 Teams have had many missing person finds utilizing the program resources. Here’s one of their latest success stories.
K9 Justice located a disoriented person in the woods! While working normal patrol duties, the bloodhound team was requested by Walthourville Police Department for someone who got lost while walking in the woods. The lost person had just enough battery life on their cellphone to call the WPD officer who went to the area and requested the team. It was determined the person suffered from unknown conditions, making it imperative to locate them. K9 Justice’s handler was able to obtain an article of clothing for scent from the person’s residence, which was not far from where they entered the woods. The trail was approximately .33 miles long into the woods. In less than EIGHT MINUTES, the team began hearing the person calling for help and a short time later later, they were located.
Granville Police Department – Granville WV
Granville PD was awarded a COPS grant in 2022 and they use the K9 search resources to protect vulnerable at-risk persons, find the missing, and locate suspects to create a safer community.
Granville Police Dept. Awarded COPS Grant for K9 Search Program in West Virginia
Sen. Shelley Moore Capito’s Office visited the Granville Police Department on Tuesday, Oct. 25 to kick off and raise awareness of the Granville K9 Wandering and Criminal Detection program. Granville PD is the recipient of a $150,000 Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) grant to establish and operate a scent technology and K9 search program for recovering missing individuals with dementia, developmental disabilities, victims of trafficking, and locating criminal suspects. The Granville PD K9 Teams participated in scent discriminate K9 trailing and Missing Person Response Protocol training with Scent Evidence K9, the grant service provider, from Oct. 24 – Oct. 28. The COPS grant also includes an effective Scent Kit program and wandering public awareness campaign. The program greatly benefits taxpayers by proactively protecting populations with Alzheimer’s and autism at high risk of wandering (42,412 in WV with Alzheimer’s in 2021) and improving K9 search success of missing citizens/students (WVU), and criminal suspects. Scent Discriminate Training was conducted by Scent Evidence K9 CEO, Paul Coley in Morgantown WV.
K9 Rose, a scent discriminate Bloodhound trained by Coley, began her new job with the Granville PD and her new handler PFC Brittany Kolb earlier this year. Kolb and K9 Rose, along with fellow Granville PD K9 handler Aaron Huyett and K9 Cadillac teamed up in September to help discover a sexual assault crime scene. The victim did not know where the scene was located and only knew that it was somewhere off a trail in the woods in a half-mile area. K9 Rose started the trail and K9 Cadillac finished it. Scent Evidence K9 CEO, Paul Coley, stated, “We are honored to have worked and trained with the Granville PD and we worked on multiple K9 team scenarios to locate crime scene evidence during our training. This is a great example of using trailing techniques and teamwork to find the target.” Read More HERE
The services provided through the COPS grant include components of Coley’s highly successful Bringing The Lost Home Program to introduce and maintain a proven and effective missing person response and location program for populations with Alzheimer’s Disease, dementia, autism, and other cognitive disabilities who are at high risk of wandering. Agencies across the country have used the program resources to find hundreds of missing persons and have protected thousands who are in high-risk wandering groups by distributing Scent Preservation Kits and raising missing person awareness in their communities. “The Scent Discriminate K9 Trailing and Missing Person Response Training used to find an individual who has wandered is also highly effective in locating criminal suspects. Both applications of K9 search work well to keep the community safe,” stated Coley. Read More HERE.
Madison County Sheriff’s Office – Jackson TN
Madison County Sheriff’s Office received the BJA grant in 2021 and has used the resources to protect their community and save lives. Here is a lifesaving missing person recovery from May 2022.
Madison County Sheriff’s Office K9 Teams Help Find Missing 60-Year-Old Woman in West TN! Dep. Tanner Cornelison and K9 Hope and fellow K9 handler Dep. Matt Nierenberger and K9 Timo used their scent discriminate trailing skills to help locate an endangered woman who had been missing for over 5 hours. Dep. Cornelison used The SEKR Scent Evidence vacuum to collect a scent article from the driver’s seat of the woman’s car. He then presented the scent jar to 10 1/2-month-old K9 Hope who followed the trail until she became tired. Dep. Nierenberger then deployed K9 Timo who picked up the scent and was hot on the trail in the same direction as Hope when a low-flying helicopter spotted the missing woman 200 yards ahead of the K9 teams. The 60-year-old woman was unconscious but alive. She was life-flighted to the hospital. The tag team trailing work helped locate the missing woman in 50 minutes.
The @Madison County Sheriff’s Office is a Bringing The Lost Home Project participating agency and received a federal grant to enhance their missing person response capabilities. K9 Hope was trained by Scent Evidence K9 CEO, Paul Coley who also provided the scent discriminate trailing and scent collection method training for the agency. Coley stated, “This is a great example of how K9 trailing can help focus search efforts in the right direction. Thanks to their K9 search skills, the missing woman was found alive.” GREAT JOB Dep. Cornelison, Dep. Nierenberger, K9 Timo, and K9 Hope! THANKS to Sheriff John Mehr for his commitment to Bringing The Lost Home and creating a safer community!
Baker County Sheriff’s Office – Macclenny FL
Baker County Sheriff’s Office received the Kevin and Avonte grant in 2022 and this story shows how the Bringing The Lost Home scent discriminate K9 training resources can be used to find persons in the community fast when every second counts.
Baker County Sheriff’s Office K9 Team Finds Driver Missing From Crash! Baker County Sheriff’s Office Det. Dyal and K9 Beta responded to a call involving a rollover traffic crash on I-10 near the Nassau strip in Florida. No occupants were in the vehicle, but blood was visible on the vehicle interior indicating a possible injury and ejection into the thick brush approximately 40 yards from the crash. A search by first responders and thermal devices was unsuccessful. Det. Dyal and K9 Beta, a scent discriminate German Shorthaired Pointer, obtained scent from the driver’s seat and began to search. Less than 2 minutes later, the driver was located in the thick brush.
“We are honored to have worked and trained with this lifesaving K9 team. This is a great example of how scent discriminate K9 tools can be utilized to find missing persons,” stated Scent Evidence K9 CEO, Paul Coley.
Baker County Sheriff’s Office is the recipient of a Federal BJA grant that provides Bringing The Lost Home scent discriminate k9 training as part of its services to enhance K9 search capabilities for agencies.
To learn more about the Bringing The Lost Home Program contact [email protected]