People have harnessed the dog’s nose for many centuries. The list of what dogs can help locate is long and getting longer daily. From abalone and accelerants to termites and truffles, dogs aid their human partners in locating endangered species and dangerous or delicious substances.
Scent-detection dogs are also used to locate people who are alive, and those who have died. In this talk, science journalist Cat Warren will explain the history, the complex science and the real satisfaction of working with well-trained dogs who locate the missing and dead.
Recent archaeological research shows that cadaver dogs, or human remains detection dogs, can help locate unmarked graves and burial grounds that are hundreds or even thousands of years old. The work to find burial sites of the enslaved, as well as historic African-American cemeteries, is particularly urgent. Development, the passage of time, and nature itself threaten untold numbers of burial grounds. Activists, historians, and archaeologists are teaming up with cadaver-dog teams to locate—and preserve—lost and abandoned cemeteries.
What is the fascinating science behind using cadaver dogs to help find these important sites? What are the political and practical problems? What is the potential?
This is a Wake County Library program.