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K9 Human Remains Detection


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.

History: K9 training coordinator Dr. Ben Alexander established the training seminars in 2013 bringing in nationally recognized trainers Ann Christensen and Bill Dotson as the initial instructors in order to establish a high quality teaching program as well as mentor the next generation of instructors. We are forever grateful to Ann and Bill for their guidance in helping to create the guiding principles of this program. FACTS seminars provide access to outstanding training resources largely unobtainable in many parts of the country as well as provide valuable guidance to improve the performance of your HRD K9 partner.

Instructors are listed by the specific seminar below. Current instructor staff: Ann Christensen, Ben Alexander, Tiffanie Turner, Joe and Deb Hulburt, Karen Paquette and Craig Schultz. Current assistant instructors include: Nadine Conner, D’Lynn Lehew, Kristin Smaltz-Blackmon, Bruce Treziak,  Kayla Hardin and Edie Wiley. FIRST Detection K9 members and selected cadaver dog handlers from all over the country volunteer to provide assistance and escort of K9 teams during training within the facility.

F.A.C.T.S. 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 always 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.

Level I K9 HRD Seminar – This is the seminar we have been having since 2013. This is appropriate for certified dogs from the beginning of their career as well as experienced dogs.

Level II Advanced Scenario K9 HRD Seminar – Dogs must have attended a Level I. This seminar is for handlers who want to challenge their dogs and work realistic scenarios in a variety of environments with realistic and appropriate amounts of human remains for said scenario (trace to whole body).

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 where the curriculum can be focused on the particular needs of the group. Contact Dr. Ben Alexander (information below) for further information on private seminars.

Level III Specialized Training - FACTS K9 training is now happy to offer Level III courses that are specialized topics and scenarios in K9 training that varies from course to course. Each Level III has specific requirements depending on topic.


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 FACTS@txstate.edu

PAY HERE

LEVEL I HRD K9 SEMINAR

dog searching
Dog Team Searching

Nov 6-8, 2020

Location: Texas State University, Freeman Ranch 2021 Freeman Ranch Road, San Marcos

Times: 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM Friday, Saturday, and Sunday

How to register: All interested participants must complete an application below for consideration. Once your application is reviewed, you will be notified of your acceptance status and if accepted, you will be given a password for registration. Acceptance does not guarantee you a spot in the course. Spaces are filled on a first-come first-served basis. We suggest you complete registration as soon as possible to ensure your space.

Application to Register:  Please complete and submit the REGISTRATION FORM

Cancellation PolicyThere are no refunds once payment is made. If you must cancel you have one year to apply your fee to a future course. You will still need to apply for acceptance to that course and receive permission to register. If you have to cancel because of COVID or FACTS is forced to cancel because of COVID, you will have three years to apply your fee to a future course.

Instructors: Ann Christensen, Ben Alexander, Deb and Joe Hulburt, and Tiffanie Turner

Assistant Instructors:  Nadine Conner, Kristen Blackman, Bruce Treziak, Edie Wiley and D'Lynn Lehew.

Cost: $395.00

Contact: Ben Alexander (979-739-8353 or facts.k9@gmail.com) for details about the course or

Sophia Mavroudas (FACTS@txstate.edu or 512-245-1900) for local arrangements.

LEVEL III: HRD K9 SEMINAR

dog searching
Dog Team Searching

Dates: October 2-4, 2020

Level III: Disaster Track

Instructor: Tiffanie Turner*

Description: This course will focus on disaster scenarios related to natural and manmade disaster damage. This will include organic flash flood/mudslide type rubble piles with fresh full sets of human remains and fire damaged remains simulating indoor and wildfire type scenarios. This is a seminar for SUSAR, USAR, FEMA dogs who are FSA ready to CE dogs.

Check in for the course will be Friday October 2nd. Classes will continue Saturday 8-5pm, and Sunday 8-3pm. Lunch is provided Saturday and Sunday.

The cost is $600.00 per K9 team

The class size is limited to 7 dogs per instructor.

Dates: October 3-4, 2020

Level III: Forensic Track

Instructor: Dr. Ben Alexander*

Description: This course will focus on K9 forensic investigation with simulated real-world scenarios. These scenarios will take place in various environments including burned buildings and open wilderness. The scenarios will also involve a range of investigative material from full remains to trace evidence. This course is for advanced HRD dogs who are actively deploying in criminal investigations.

Classes will take place 8-5 pm on Saturday and 8-3 pm on Sunday.

How to register for either track: All interested participants must complete an application below for consideration. Once your application is reviewed, you will be notified of your acceptance status and if accepted, you will be given a password for registration. Acceptance does not guarantee you a spot in the course. Spaces are filled on a first-come first-served basis. We suggest you complete registration as soon as possible to ensure your space.

Application to Register:  Please complete and submit the REGISTRATION FORM

Cancellation PolicyThere are no refunds once payment is made. If you must cancel you have one year to apply your fee to a future course. You will still need to apply for acceptance to that course and receive permission to register. If you have to cancel because of COVID or FACTS is forced to cancel because of COVID, you will have three years to apply your fee to a future course.

Contact: Ben Alexander (979-739-8353 or facts.k9@gmail.com) for details about the course or

Sophia Mavroudas (FACTS@txstate.edu or 512-245-1900) for local arrangements.

 

*additional instructors may be added if demand and conditions allow


Photos by Rebecca Ross of March 2013 Seminar

Rebecca Ross Photos

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

Accomodations

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