60 Minutes looked at bomb-sniffing dogs in a report that, especially given last night’s other featured stories — on the Marathon bombing and the 9/11 Memorial — brought home not just how many lives they’ve saved in the military overseas, but how many more they might save here.
Reporter Lara Logan focused on the dogs of war, and the trainers that describe their canines as nearly infallible when it comes to detecting bombs.
But they’re not so infallible when explosive devices are planted after the dogs have made their sweeps, as apparently was the case at the Boston Marathon.
“Would an average police dog have found these bombs at the Boston Marathon …?” she asked trainer Mike Ritland.
“…Based on what I do know, yes,” Ritland said. “If dogs went through the areas where they were placed– you know, your average, certified police bomb dog should have found them. My thoughts are if these guys (the suspects) are paying close attention to these dogs, they’re waiting. And when the dogs leave, they bring it in, they hand– they infiltrate, essentially, they drop it right where it’s busy, and very soon after, it detonates.”
As the “60 Minutes” piece pointed out, since 9/11 dogs have been used more than ever because nothing is more effective in finding hidden bombs. Dogs in the employ of the military and FBI have sniffed out bombs, captured enemies, and one assisted Navy SEAL Team 6 when it took down Osama bin Laden. Much more of what they do, given the often secretive nature of their work, never becomes known.
“The best of them serve with U.S. Special Operations and they’re in a league of their own,” Logan noted. “It’s nearly impossible to get anyone to talk about them publicly because much of what they do is classified, but we were able to talk to the people who train them for this story. We took the opportunity to ask about what might have happened in Boston while getting a rare glimpse inside the secretive world of America’s most elite dogs.”
(One member of the “60 Minutes” team — in a segment not shown on the air but featured on 60minutesovertime.com – even volunteered to be chased down by a military dog in training in Texas. Producer Reuben Heyman-Kantor, in the video above, tried to outrun the dog, but was brought down quickly.)
In her interview with former Navy SEAL Ritland, who now finds and trains dogs for Special Operations and top tier units in the FBI, Logan asked, ”What can these dogs do on the streets of America?”
“The very same thing that they do for our boys overseas in that they detect explosives– they are a fantastic deterrent– they use their nose to find, you know, people as well,” Ritland said.
“Everybody knows that dogs can smell better than humans but what they don’t realize is that if you and I walk into the kitchen and there’s a pot of beef stew on the counter, you and I smell beef stew. A dog smells potatoes, carrots, beef, onion, celery, gravy, flour. They smell each and every individual component of everything that’s in that beef stew. And they can separate everyone one of those. You can’t hide anything from them. It won’t work because you can’t fool a dog’s nose.”
Ritland now trains dogs on his 20-acre ranch in rural Cooper, Texas, runs the Warrior Dog Foundation for retired war dogs, and is the author of “Trident K9 Warriors: My Tale From the Training Ground to the Battlefield with Elite Navy SEAL Canines.”
Ritland says its important — amid these days of budget cuts — to remember what lifesavers the dogs can be, both in wars and at home.
In Afghanistan, according to the report, 42 dogs have been killed in action. They’ve become so effective that the enemy is singling them out. A Taliban commander told “60 Minutes” that on his last operation they were ordered to open fire on the American dogs first, and deal with the soldiers next.
Logan visited what she said was one of only three breeders in the U.S. who produce dogs — almost always the Belgian Malinois — for top tier military units.
She also interviewed Green Beret Chris Corbin who, along with his dog Ax, almost died on their final mission in Afghanistan.
Corbin said he missed a signal from the dog while searching for mines. Ax was alerting to Corbin’s foot, but Corbin realized it too late. He lost both his lower legs. Ax was not wounded. Both returned to duty.
Ax was at Corbin’s side during the interview, and rarely took his eyes off his former partner as he described their first reunion after the blast.
“I just said something simple. ‘Hey, where’s my boy at?’ and he stopped. He froze. He looked around. And he went into a panic until he found me and he jumped on my legs. Painful. Just– I was just happy to see him. I didn’t care how much it hurt.”
Posted by jwoestendiek April 22nd, 2013 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: 60 minutes, 911, animals, ax, belgian malinois, bomb, bombing, bombs, boston marathon, budget, chris corbin, cutbacks, detecting, detection, dog, dogs, explosive, fbi, green beret, homeland security, ied, lara logan, law enforcement, mike ritland, military, mines, navy seal, news, nose, pets, searches, security, smell, sniffing, special operations, sweeps, training
“It was bad people who killed them,” 5-year-old Ethan Stalcup said after the bodies of his family’s two dogs were found, apparently killed with an axe.
“I don’t understand why anybody would do this,” his mother, Rose Stalcup, said in an interview. “It really hurts to know that we live in a world where people can be this cruel.”
Her husband, J.P. Stalcup, wondered what the killers might do next: “What happens if, you know, they do that a couple more times and all of the sudden they’re not happy with – it’s not giving them as much jollies as it was the first couple times …”
That was before Japheth (J.P.) Daniel Stalcup admitted to police that it was he who killed his dogs — because, he said, he couldn’t afford to take care of them.
Now, as Stalcup awaits trial on charges of aggravated animal abuse, KATU – the station that aired the earlier interviews with the family — reports Stalcup has another dog, despite a judge’s order prohibiting it.
One of the conditions Stalcup agreed to in order to be free from jail until the trial was ”no possession or living with any animals.”
Stalcup, of Eagle Creek, Oregon, initially reported his dogs — Duke, a black Lab, and Buddy, a Lab-blue heeler mix — missing last November. Two days later he reported to police that he had found their bodies, about 100 yards from the house. Stalcup told investigators the dogs appeared to have been hit with an axe several times. One of the dogs was tossed from a cliff, deputies said.
As the police investigation progressed, Stalcup eventually admitted to killing the dogs. His trial date is March 25.
Acting on a tip from a viewer, KATU visited his home on Monday, confirming the family had a new puppy.
J.P. Stalcup told a reporter that his lawyer had cleared it with a judge for him to have pets at home, but prosecutors were unaware of any such permission being granted.
(Photo: The Stalcup’s new puppy (at top) and one of their previous dogs, Duke / KATU)
Posted by jwoestendiek February 27th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal cruelty, animals, ax, axe, buddy, charges, condition, dogs, duke, eagle creek, heeler, investigation, jail, japheth stalcup, jp stalcup, judge, katu, killed, lab, news, no pets, order, oregon, pets, police, trial
The reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of whoever attacked a pit bull mix with an ax in Bradenton, Florida is up to $13,600 — thanks to a big donation from the co-creator of “The Simpsons.”
Hollywood writer, producer and director Sam Simon pledged $10,000 to the reward created to help find those responsible for leaving a 2-year-old red and white pit bull mix named Axel with a two-inch-deep gash in his head, apparently inflicted by an ax.
Simon is founder of the Sam Simon Foundation, which adopts dogs from shelters and trains them as hearing dogs for the deaf, and runs a variety of other programs aimed at saving the lives of dogs and enriching the lives of humans.
Simon announced the contribution Friday morning on the nationally syndicated radio show of Bubba The Love Sponge. (Bubba kicked in $1,000 as well.)
The donations brought the reward to over $13,000, according to the Bradenton Herald.
The veterinarian’s office reports that, except when under anesthesia, Axel’s tail has been wagging constantly.
The wound damaged the dog’s sinus cavity and while pieces of his skull had to be removed during the operation, he is expected to make a full recovery, veterinarian Luke Berglund said.
The $13,600 reward, which will be given to anyone who provides information leading to the arrest and conviction of those involved
Axel is being given pain medicine and antibiotics, and will undergo treatment for heartworms this week. Based on his other scars, it’s possible he was used in dogfights or as a bait dog.
Anyone with information about the incident, or interested in fostering Axel, can call Manatee County Animal Services at 941-742-5933 ext. 8314. Tips can also be reported to the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office at 941-747-3011 or Crime Stoppers at 1-866-634-TIPS(8477).
Posted by jwoestendiek December 3rd, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abuse, animal cruelty, animals, ax, axel, bradenton, cruelty to animals, dog fighting, dogfighting, dogs, donation, florida, head, manatee county, mix, pets, pit bull, reward, sam simon, sam simon foundation, surgery, the simpsons, wound
Police said they responded to a call Sunday night to find the injured dog, who is expected to survive. They found the suspect hiding in a closet.
Neighbors reported squealing coming from the home, WAFB reported.
The grey pit bull is being treated for severe wounds to his head and legs.
Michael Aaron Hughes, 33, was arrested and charged with animal cruelty and resisting arrest.
(Photo: Vanderburgh County Jail)
Posted by jwoestendiek September 26th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal cruelty, animals, arrest, attacked, ax, axe, boyfriend, charges, cruelty to animals, dog, dogs, evansville, girlfriend, indiana, jailed, michael aaron hughes, pets, pit bull, pitbull, vanderburgh