The Liberty County Sheriff’s Office is accepting donations to acquire a bloodhound tracking dog. This is to advance Project Lifesaver, which is dedicated to finding and recovering missing persons in the area. The need for this dog comes with a slew of missing persons such as Alexander Kuzmin in last year’s Lake George case and the recent runaway incident of 16-year-old Keira Brown.
Currently, to find people, the Sheriff’s Office relies on hundreds of man hours, GSP helicopters and radar synced bracelets, of which there are only 35-40 in circulation. While these resources are helpful, they can only do so much so quickly. Sheriff Sikes believes that with the help of this Bloodhound, his office can locate missing persons more effectively.
This particular bloodhound is from a special line of dogs bred in Kentucky, which can pick up the scent of any individual, even if the scent is 10 years old. With the acquiring of this bloodhound, which is a mere 8-9 months old, parents need only to swab their child’s scent and preserve it in, say, a sealed jar. If the child were to go missing, the dog can smell the swab and lock onto the child’s scent faster than any other dog. The same can go for those who suffer from Autism. It is estimated that 74 percent of autistic kids, according to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, went missing between 2007 and 2017. Sheriff Sikes is also hoping to use the bloodhound to recover elderly citizens who may wander off.
The hoped for purchase depends on whether the Sheriff’s Office can acquire this special dog. The bloodhound purchase, adding in handler training expenses, will cost an estimated $15,000. The Sheriff told the Courier that he doesn’t want to force anyone to donate, and he was especially clear he would not call for a raise in taxes in order to afford the bloodhound. Instead, he is hoping to rely solely on the generosity of Liberty County citizens.
If you would like to help acquire this bloodhound, please mail or drop off donations to the Sheriff’s Office at 201 South Main Street, Suite 1300 Hinesville, Georgia 31313.