March 20, 2023

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WCU human remains detection K9 training program wins award

WCU human remains detection K9 training program wins award

Western Carolina University’s human remains detection cadaver puppy training plan was a short while ago awarded the 2022 College Professional and Continuing Education and learning Affiliation award for particular populations at the UPCEA South Convention in Atlanta.

This award recognizes exceptional experienced advancement plans supplied by universities across the southeast, from Virginia to Texas.

WCU’s HRD cadaver puppy system, which is under the course of Lisa Briggs, director of WCU’s emergency and catastrophe management method, has been supplied at WCU due to the fact 2011.

HRD K9s are a specially skilled group of look for dogs who focus in locating missing individuals in legal investigations, suicides, overdoses, misplaced persons, purely natural disasters and structural collapses this sort of as the twin towers on 9/11, and most just lately the flood victims in Haywood County.

“Once believed of as a pseudoscience, comprehension how canines can be effective and reliable as resources in human remains restoration is being attained at WCU by interdisciplinary associations in the College or university of Arts and Sciences and WCU’s Forensic Osteology Study Station,” reported Briggs.

In addition to directing the programs at WCU, Briggs also serves as a research and restoration professional for the Nationwide Center for Lacking and Exploited Young children and is on the Point out Bureau of Investigation Human Remains Undertaking Pressure, as very well as a member of the Office of Homeland Security Reunification Staff. 

“One can only imagine for a minute their own family member getting lacking and unable to find them to understand the significance of our perform,” Briggs stated.

She understands how essential it is to have specialty educated K9s to locate the lacking and is appreciative of the methods, relationships and support from the university for this sort of an essential space of specialization.

“It is important that HRD K9s be skilled on genuine human continues to be and not placenta or pseudo corpse,” Briggs stated. “One should not expect a K9 to be successful unless of course they are really experienced on that which the K9 staff is searching for. There are really few areas in the state, or the earth for that make any difference, who offer accessibility to individuals who have donated their bodies to science like we have right here at WCU.”

Handlers and their K9s appear from nations around the world all in excess of the planet and the country to train in WCU’s program where Briggs and other knowledgeable legislation enforcement K9 officers and trainers lead with 1st-hand practical experience in the recovery of human remains.

The Division of Academic Outreach facilitates the trainings that materialize on campus all over the yr.

“Once the plan began, word swiftly distribute and we noticed surging demand from K9 handlers all throughout the United States and abroad who preferred to deliver their dogs to Cullowhee for instruction,” explained Bobby Hensley, affiliate director of continuing training in Instructional Outreach. “Lately, the courses fill to potential in about 7 minutes from the time they are opened to law enforcement, fireplace, and look for and rescue personnel. It is fantastic that our plan obtained recognition from these types of a prestigious organization and to be picked the finest system for special populations in the southeast is really an award.”