- Explains canine olfaction and how it enables dogs to detect the scent of human remains
- Covers stages of decomposition and how they are affected by the environment
- Describes factors affecting odor dispersion
- Reviews the use of mapping and weather data to assist in the deployment of an HRD canine
- Provides case reports of decedents found in a variety of environments
- Includes nearly 200 illustrations as well as a 16-page insert with color photos from actual recovery scenes
Death, Decomposition, and Detector Dogs: From Science to Scene is designed to help police investigators and Human Remains Detection K9 handlers understand the basics of forensic taphonomy (decomposition) and how to most effectively use a human remains detection (HRD) K9 as a locating tool. The book covers basic anatomy and the physiology of canine olfaction along with some of the unique characteristics that allow a dog to work.
Using concise and understandable explanations along with numerous photographs, the book covers the stages of decomposition and how they are affected by the environment; what is currently understood about the chemical profile of odor from human remains; how weather, topography, ground cover and terrain can affect odor dispersion; and different types of mapping and weather data that can be used before and during deployment of the HRD K9.
The final chapter ties it all together by providing case reports about decedents who have been found in different locations in a variety of environmental conditions. By learning how these variables can affect how and what is found, handlers and investigators will be better prepared to meet the challenges of their jobs.