Shelter Dog Trained To Sniff Out Child Porn

Shelter Dog Trained To Sniff Out Child Porn

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Detective Zimmermann and Gia.

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At just 14 months old, Gia is a sleuthing superstar. And the only equipment she needs is that killer nose of hers.  Gia is the newest (and cutest) weapon in the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office arsenal against child pornography.  This K-9 deputy’s prime directive: Electronic detection. Gia can sniff out anything that can hold a memory, Detective Joni Zimmermann, Gia’s handler, told Tampa Bay’s WTSP.

Back in August, she and Lt. Richie Cunningham, trainer and head of the K-9 Unit went looking for just the right sort of puppy to train. Dogs with these skills can cost police departments as much as $20,000, but Gia was acquired free of charge from Bradenton’s Bishop Animal Shelter SPCA – giving the sweet girl a forever home and a job she loves while saving money for the taxpayers.

“She needed to be drive, needed to be friendly,” Zimmermann explains. And now, post training, “She’s like bringing a flashlight into a dark room.”

“She walks into a room and she can smell the computer like we can smell pizza,” says Cunningham. A good thing, since many offenders hide things like small thumb drives or even SD cards, often loaded with evidence, in out of the way places.

Cunningham says that child pornographers don’t stand a chance with Gia on the job.

“Hide it, it’s just a challenge now. Gia is coming in — she will find it.”

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