Tracking The Trackers: GPS Systems Used To Find Missing Police Dogs

What do you do when a specially trained, police bloodhound catches an unknown scent and takes off?

That is exactly what happened two years ago when a police K9 bloodhound named Texas caught a scent during a search for a missing man in Danbury, pulled away from his handler, and disappeared into the night.

“When we found Texas after searching for a few days we knew we couldn’t allow something like this to happen again,” mentioned Nicci Decrisantis, Cheshire resident, pet nutritionist, and owner of NorthPoint Pets & Co., formerly known as Thomaston Feed. Decrisantis’s experience and familiarity with the state police K9 unit comes from family — her father was a former Connecticut K9 handler.

As a way of helping, Decrisantis has been donating special equipment to local and regional authorities, utilizing technology to track the dogs.

“Since the search for Texas, our relationship with the State K9 Unit has grown over the years and we try to buy and donate as many GPS tracking collars as we can get,” she said.

Decrisantis and the NorthPoint Pets & Co team were instrumental in helping reunite Texas and his handler, and they immediately began brainstorming ideas about what they could do to help make sure this problem never happens again.

“What a lot of people don’t know is that the Connecticut State Police (CSP) K9 program doesn’t receive any state funding,” Decrisantis said. “So we do what we can by holding fundraisers and things so we can get them the GPS collars, and any other supplies, they clearly need.”

When these working police dogs escape, the sense of urgency to find them is not only to get them back to work, but for their own safety as well. 

“Unfortunately not everyone treats these dogs with the respect they deserve,” Decrisantis added. “If these dogs get into the wrong hands they could be seriously harmed or killed, which is why we need to find them as soon as possible.”

Besides being able to track the dogs if they go missing, which is luckily a rare occurrence, the collars have another, much more practical function.

“The really cool thing about these collars is that when the dogs go out, say for a search and rescue mission, the search locations can be easily mapped out,” Decrisantis explained. “The police department is then able to determine what areas have been searched and where the dogs still need to go.”

Decrisantis also described how other agencies, such as fire departments, can link up to the GPS collars as well, allowing for everyone to be on the same page whenever there is an emergency. 

Since Texas went missing, NorthPoint Pets & Co. has donated over a dozen Garmin GPS Collars to multiple state and municipal K9 teams, and hopes to continue this for years to come. 

“These dogs are so smart and are able to do so much,” Decrisantis noted. “These collars are more to correct a human behavior than anything else.”

If you would like to donate to the Connecticut State Police K9 foundation, their information can be found here:

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