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K9 Human Remains Detection

Instructors: Ann Christensen, Bill Dotson, Ben Alexander, and Tiffanie Turner

Dog searching for remains
Dog searching

This workshop is held by the Forensic Anthropology Center at Texas State (FACTS) in cooperation with FIRST Detection K9 and selected cadaver dog handlers.

Instructors for the seminars are nationally recognized trainers and handlers, Ann Christensen and/or Bill Dotson, Ben Alexander, Tiffanie Turner, Lisa Higgins and Cheryl Kennedy. Assistant instructors change from semester to semester but include: Craig Schultz, Karen Paquette, Jamie Powell, Nadine Conner and spring 2018 Jan Meyer, Amanda Ott, and Kayla Hardin. FIRST Detection K9 members and selected cadaver dog handlers volunteer to provide assistance and escort of K9 teams during training within the facility.

FACTS is a world class facility and offers an experience that cannot be found anywhere else in the world! Participants are provided opportunities to expose their dogs to full body decomposition at the FACTS facility located on Freeman Ranch between San Marcos and Wimberley, TX. Training scenarios include full body burial and complete surface remains in various states of decomposition. K9 teams get to search for a recently deceased body in a 2-5 acre area with the ability to work the K9 off lead. Students will have the opportunity to expose their dogs to a wide array of human remains varying in both size and level of decomposition from fresh to skeletonized.

Class size is limited. We keep a 1 to 6 ratio (1 instructor to six students). Classroom instruction includes presentations such as human versus non-human bone identification, canine learning theory, decomposition, case study and courtroom issues.

Group seminars are held bi-annually at the beginning of March and at the end of October. Groups may also book the facility for private seminars that the curriculum can be focused on the needs of the group. Contact Dr. Ben Alexander (information below) for further information on private seminars.

Pay By Credit Card

Pay by Credit Card

You cannot pay unless you have submitted your registration form and received approval from Dr. Ben Alexander.  If you are waiting on approval or have questions about registration, please contact Dr. Alexander. 

You may pay the non-refundable tuition or deposit by credit card by clicking on the PAY HERE link below and following the instructions. If you have any questions please contact Sophia Mavroudas at 512-245-1900 or





October 26-28, 2018

dog searching
dog searching field

Location: Texas State University, Freeman Ranch 2101 Freeman Ranch Road, San Marcos

Times: 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM

Registration: Please complete and submit the REGISTRATION FORM

Assistant Instructors: Nadine Conner, Kristen Blackman, and D'Lynn Lehew. 

Contact: Ben Alexander (979-739-8353 or for details about the course or

Sophia Mavroudas ( or 512-245-1900) for local arrangements.


Rebecca Ross Photos

To see more of Rebecca Ross' fantastic photos visit Life of Riley Pet Photography


Any Hotel/Motel within San Marcos will be within about 15 min of the workshop site. All hotels should accommodate service dogs.

October 26-28, 2018

Location:  Texas State University, Freeman Ranch 2101 Freeman Ranch Rd, San Marcos, TX 78666

Registration:  Please complete and submit the REGISTRATION FORM for approval

Contact:  Dr. Ben Alexander (979) 739-8353 or for details about the course