Canada: How Zoe the police dog sniffed out 2 missing girls in Ontario's Algonquin Park - PressFrom - Canada
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CanadaHow Zoe the police dog sniffed out 2 missing girls in Ontario's Algonquin Park

13:10  16 july  2019
13:10  16 july  2019 Source:   cbc.ca

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Ontario Provincial Police said Sunday that they have deployed resources including a helicopter and an airplane as they search Algonquin Provincial Park for Marta Malek and Maya Mirota, both of whom are from Kitchener, Ont. According to police , the girls were last seen on Thursday and were reported

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How Zoe the police dog sniffed out 2 missing girls in Ontario's Algonquin Park © Courtesy Jason Parks/The Picton Gazette Scott Gannon, with the OPP Canine Unit, and Zoe, a Labrador retriever, located the two 16-year-old girls who had gone missing in Ontario's Algonquin Park.

About 90 minutes after starting to search for two 16-year-old girls who had been missing in Ontario's Algonquin Park since Thursday, Zoe began showing the telltale signs that she had picked up a scent.

"That's what you want to look for when the dogs acquire a track. There's a physical cue, or a difference in their behaviour," said Scott Gannon, an officer with the Ontario Provincial Police Canine Unit.

For Zoe, a two-and-a-half-year-old Labrador retriever, her nose will go down to the ground, she will start sniffing more, show interest in one area, wag her tail and get excited, Gannon said.

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Two 16-year-old girls missing in Algonquin Park since Thursday have been found safe, police said on Monday. An OPP canine unit found the girls around noon. BREAKING NEWS. Two girls missing for days in Ontario ' s Algonquin Park have been found.

Two 16-year-old girls missing in Ontario ' s Algonquin Park for four days have been found safe. “That just goes to show how dense and rugged this terrain is. The forest is very, very thick in this part of Algonquin Park ,” he said, adding that it would have been extremely dark at night as well.

Gannon, Zoe, and two members of the Emergency Response Team made up one of the four search and rescue (SAR) dog teams that had been flown in on float planes to help search for Maya Mirota and Marta Malek. The teens had failed to meet up with their camping group in the provincial park's western sector.

The four teams were assigned to follow the hiking trail where the girls had last been seen. Search dogs are looking for a human scent, said Clifford Samson, a trainer in the OPP Canine Unit.

When the handlers are given a search area, they start downwind, and move the dog back and forth in hopes it will pick up the scent, Samson said.

During their search, "you could see where [Zoe] became excited,"  Gannon said.

When Zoe hasn't picked up a scent, she stays close to Gannon. But once she gets that track, like she did on Monday, she will go much farther ahead and "she bee lines it toward that source."

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Algonquin Provincial Park trip planning information, the latest news, upcoming programs, donation and membership information, opportunities for involvement, outfitters, lodges, commercial service, plus books, maps and souvenirs. Official website of The Friends of Algonquin Park .

+ Volunteers and OPP are continuing their search for two missing teenage girls in the western section of Algonquin Provincial Park . Marta Malek and Maya Mirota, both 16 and from Kitchener, were reported missing Friday around 10:00 p.m. The teens were reportedly last seen on Thursday on the

"She became excited and we watched her and then she proceeded to go down the trail," Gannon said.

With Zoe out ahead, Gannon and the crew began calling the names of the girls, who responded by blowing a whistle three times.

The police called for the girls to say their names.

"They gave us the correct names, because we wanted to make sure [it wasn't] someone else on the trail just hearing us yell," Gannon said.

"We told them to stay put and we followed the dog."

They found the girls in good physical condition, although a bit dehydrated and covered with insect bites, Gannon said.

"They were very excited and happy to see us, and we were the same way," Gannon said. "They both gave us hugs."

Of course, they were also excited to see Zoe, asking if they could pet their rescuer.

The girls had set up camp for three days, trying to get the attention of aircraft flying overheard. But they were not in an open area where they could be easily spotted, Gannon said.

Teen girls missing in Algonquin Park since Thursday

Teen girls missing in Algonquin Park since Thursday The OPP are asking the public to help them find a pair of 16-year-old girls who were last seen on a trail in Algonquin Park on Thursday morning. Maya Mirota and Marta Malek were on the Western Uplands Trail near Rainbow Lake east of Huntsville at 11 a.m. Maya is about five feet tall with a thin build and long auburn hair. The only description for Marta is that she is about six feet tall. Anyone with information is asked to call the OPP at 1-888-310-1122. MISSING: #OPP requesting public assistance in locating 16 yr olds Maya MIROTA and Marta MALEK, both last seen travelling on Western Uplands Trail near Rainbow Lake, Algonquin Park. Call 1-888-310-1122 with any information.

There are two dog sledding trails in Algonquin Park — the most popular is located along Highway 60 while the second is located in the northwest corner of Park permits are required for the use of these trails and backcountry rules apply. Algonquin Park does not offer guided dog sledding opportunities.

Ontario Provincial Police shared this missing person notice Saturday for Maya Mirota (pictured) and Marta Malek. The 16-year-olds were last seen two days earlier in Algonquin Park . Provincial police are looking for a pair of teen girls last seen two days ago on a trail in Algonquin Park .

"So today they decided to walk, and they ended up walking on to this trail and then we just happened to come up behind them using the dog."

How Zoe the police dog sniffed out 2 missing girls in Ontario's Algonquin Park © CBC Maya Mirota, left, and Marta Malek were found safe Monday in Algonquin Park.

Gannon said they walked the girls back about 1.5 kilometres, where a float plane arrived to take them back to the OPP command post.

The canine unit has 27 service dogs, 11 of which are dedicated to search and rescue missions, Samson said.

The handlers and their search and rescue dogs take a 10-week training course at one of the OPP's three training centres, he said.

Friendlier breeds of dogs

The SAR dogs are usually friendlier breeds of dogs, like labradors, which have a good nose and a high drive to want to search, Samson said.

"Labs are notorious for being friendly and loving people. And that makes them a great dog for that job," he said.

Police also look for dogs that have a high "play drive" — the breed "really likes to chase a ball and wants to play," Samson said.

As part of the training, the instructor will send someone to hide with a ball. When the dog locates the person, it's trained to bark.

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Maya Mirota is one of two 16-year-old girls reported missing since Thursday in Algonquin Park . Ontario Provincial Police . The OPP are asking the public to help them find a pair of 16-year-old girls who were last seen on a trail in Algonquin Park on Thursday morning.

How Zoe the police dog sniffed out 2 missing girls in Ontario's Algonquin Park © Courtesy Scott Gannon When Zoe, a two-and-a-half-year-old labrador, has picked up a scent, her nose will go down to the ground, she will start sniffing more, show interest in one particular area, wag her tail and get excited.

"We start off with the person that's hiding having the ball to make that person valuable for the dog to find," Samson said.

The person will then throw the ball,  making it a game for the dog, Samson said.

"And we just work on that, make it more and more difficult and longer and longer searches."

The training then switches to the handler rewarding the dog, rather than the person the dog has found.

"Because somebody hiding in the bushes is not going to have a toy to reward your dog," Samson said.

Provincial police find two teens missing in Algonquin park, girls doing well.
Two teenage girls who went missing during a camping trip in Algonquin Park were found safe on Monday, bringing an end to a search that involved nearly 100 people through the weekend. Ontario Provincial Police said Marta Malek and Maya Mirota, both 16, were found "alive and well" not far from a trail where they were last seen on Thursday. "We couldn't have asked for a better ending to this story," said OPP spokesman Bill Dickson. An OPP canine unit found the teens around noon on Monday, less than two kilometres away from where they were last spotted on the Western Uplands Trail, between Rainbow Lake and Susan Lake.

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