WATERBURY Vt. (NEWS10) — The Vermont State Police have a new helper on their team named Loki.
According to police, Loki is nine weeks old, has long, floppy ears, likes to frolic with coworkers and has a powerful nose to help protect the public.
Loki is reportedly a Plott Hound who will be used to specialize in tracking missing people and fugitives from the law. She is said to be the state police’s first hound dog in more that 30 years.
Loki’s new home is located in the Green Mountains where she arrived with her handler, Detective Trooper Chris Hunt, who picked her up from a breeder in Houston, Texas last weekend according to police.
Police say Loki is joining a K-9 Unit made up of 16 patrol dogs, four bomb-detection dogs and one arson dog. The patrol dogs are said to be Belgian Malinois, German Shepherds and Dutch Shepherds, and the others are Labrador Retrievers.
The addition of a hound dog will help to keep the public safe said Captain Mike Manley, Vermont State Police special operations commander.
“We are always looking to enhance our capabilities and the service that we provide Vermonters,” Manley says. “The biggest advantage to having a Plott Hound is that they can track old scents. These hounds can track scents that can be nearly a day old. For us this is all about tracking, having the best resource available to track lost and missing persons. You can’t get any better than a hound for tracking.”
Loki might also eventually learn to specialize in finding dead individuals, but for now she will stick to tracking by helping to round out the capabilities of the K-9 Unit said Manley.
“Patrol dogs can do all types — apprehension, tracking, drug work — and our other specialized canines identify explosives and accelerants. Hounds really specialize in tracking. Patrol dogs at best can track scents that are a few hours old. Having Loki as part of the K-9 Unit is sure to increase public safety by giving VSP the best capability to locate missing persons and fugitives.”
Police say Loki was named after the god in Norse mythology. Her next few weeks will be spent getting used to her new surroundings followed by 15 weeks of training set to begin in early March with the New Hampshire State Police.
The New Hampshire State Police reportedly already have two Plott Hounds as part of their K-9 Unit.
According to VSP, Loki’s training will consist of obedience, tracking based on scents on the ground, evidence recovery, and searching wide areas using scents in the air. Once her training is complete, police say Loki will be based at the St. Albans Barracks where her handler Hunt is assigned, and eventually be able to report statewide
If everything goes according to plan, police say Loki may have some company in the future as state police consider adding more hounds to their K-9 Unit.