banner"Hi, I'm Eddie. My dad trained me and our Keela to search for cadavers and blood. Our sensitive noses help dad find out where the evidence is hidden so he can help the forensic scientists take samples for further analysis.

We can't tell lies like people do and we only show him where we detect the smells."

On scent of success: sniffer dog Keela earns more than her Chief Constable

Author: admin | Files under In the News

From The Times December 30, 2005 (here)

By Karen McVeigh

HER detective work is unsurpassed, her dedication to duty during some of Britain’s most challenging murder cases unfailing.

Keela, a 16-month-old springer spaniel, has become such an asset to South Yorkshire Police that she now earns more than the chief constable.

Her sense of smell, so keen that she can sniff traces of blood on weapons that have been scrubbed after attacks, has her so much in demand by forces up and down the country that she is hired out at £530 a day, plus expenses.

Thought to be the only one of her kind, the crime scenes dog earns nearly £200,000 a year. Her daily rate, ten times that of ordinary police dogs, puts her on more than the chief constable, Meredydd Hughes, who picks up £129,963.

Keela’s considerable talent in uncovering minute pieces of evidence that can later be confirmed by forensic tests has put her in the forefront of detective work across Britain. She was drafted in to help after the stabbing of the young mother, Abigail Witchalls, in Surrey, and has been involved in high- profile cases across 17 forces, from Devon and Cornwall to Strathclyde.

She has already helped to apprehend a murderer after sniffing out blood on a knife.

PC John Ellis, her handler, said that police sent for Keela when the scenes of crime squad failed to find what they were looking for. “She can detect minute quantities of blood that cannot be seen with the human eye,” he said. “She is used at scenes where someone has tried to clean it up. If blood has seeped into the tiles behind a bath where a body has been, she can find it.”

The spaniel can sniff out blood in clothes after they have been washed repeatedly in biological washing powder, and can detect microscopic amounts on weapons that have been scrubbed and washed.

When faced with a “clean” crime scene, Mr Ellis and PC Martin Grimes, Keela’s other handler, will first send in Frankie, a border collie, and Eddie, another springer spaniel, to pick up any general scent. Then they wheel in the big gun.

“We take Keela in and she will find the minutest traces of blood,” Mr Ellis said. “It’s not like looking for a needle in a haystack any more. The other two dogs will find the haystack and Keela will find the needle.”

While the other dogs bark, Keela has been trained to freeze and pinpoint the area with her nose.

Mr Ellis said Keela’s “perfect temperament” and enthusiasm made her a great asset. “We thought we would get one or two deployments a year, but things have just snowballed. Obviously when we are called in by other forces they are charged a fee and it’s quite funny to think she can earn more than the chief constable.”

Mr Hughes showed there were no hard feelings. The chief constable said: “Keela’s training gives the force an edge when it comes to forensic investigation which we should recognise and use more often.” Mr Ellis and Mr Grimes came up with a special training regime to focus on Keela’s remarkable skills. It has proved so successful that the FBI has inquired about it. “The FBI is very interested in how we work because they don’t have this sort of facility in-house and they are looking at setting up their own unit,” Mr Ellis said.

Paul Ruffell, of K9 Solutions, a security firm specialising in dog units, said he was amazed at Keela’s abilities. “I’ve been working in this business for 25 years and I’ve never heard anything like it,” he said.


£200,000 DOG

Keela: Crime scene investigation dog, South Yorkshire Police

Pay: None. Charges £530 a day plus expenses for services. Earned almost £200,000 last year

Career: Joined South Yorkshire Police in 2003 at 12 weeks. Came originally from West Midlands Police, from a large litter. Period of training lasted a few months

Hobbies: Chasing her tail and eating

£129,000 MAN

Meredydd Hughes: Chief Constable of South Yorkshire

Pay: £129,963 a year

Career: Joined North Wales Constabulary, 1979. Promoted to Superintendent in West Yorkshire Police in 1995 and Assistant Chief Constable in Greater Manchester, 1999

Hobbies: Rock climbing, mountainbiking and mountaineering

6 responses. Wanna say something?

  1. najmah
    Sep 8, 2008 at 18:11:50

    great article but the mccans are saying the dogs had false plz speak up about this you are being made out to be dihonest and the dogs useless they are great dogs

  2. fed up with carp
    Oct 28, 2008 at 09:49:08

    When Eddie gets his wages he will be able to buy more coconuts!!
    He likes those. If you don’t know what I am talking about, take a look at the Jersey case. Anyone who thinks these dogs are always right is a victim of spin, imho.

  3. sandra
    Oct 28, 2008 at 16:43:51

    Hi Fed up with carp,

    Obviously you may not be aware but there were human remains @ the Jersey home and without the efforts of Eddie and Keela they may not have been found. I truly believe that their evidence is the only evidence that can be relied upon regarding poor little defenceless Madelaine who was left alone in the dark with her little brother and sister for 6 nights. .

  4. sandra
    Oct 28, 2008 at 16:52:38

    Hi Fed up with carp,

    There were human remains at Jersey and they may not have been found if Eddie and Keela had not been used. I trust these dogs and their evidence is the only physical evidence that has been uncovered, the rest is hearsay. The only spin is the way the English media changed their minds about Eddie and Keela firstly quote , they are the best sniffer dogs in the world’ and , not sure about the reason but they used that coconut story ( how true is that or is that spin)
    I truly believe the dogs were on the ball relating to that poor little darling Madelaine who was left in the dark with her younger brother and sister for 6 nights while their so called mother and father did a Mccann(new term for neglecting children)

  5. hamish
    Oct 29, 2008 at 13:11:54

    The title says it all really, Dogs Dont Lie.

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