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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 seminars, however, the current instructor staff consists of Ben Alexander, Tiffanie Turner, Joe and Deb Hulburt, and Karen Paquette. Current assistant instructors include Nadine Conner, Kayla Hardin, D’Lynn Lehew, Joni Owens, Kristin Smaltz-Blackmon, Kryssie Thompson, Bruce Treziak, 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.

There are currently three levels of the seminar available at FACTS:

Level I K9 HRD Seminar – This is the seminar we have been having since 2013. This is a great seminar for getting a variety of whole-body decomposition odors in your dog’s database. This is appropriate for certified dogs at all stages of their careers.

Level I HRD K9: Puppy Seminar - This seminar is for puppies of a minimum age of 12 weeks old who have had three sets of shots and a rabies shot by the time of the seminar. Owners must send shot records as part of the application. The puppies/juvenile dogs will be exposed to composite HR (hand, feet, arms, legs) and a whole fresh body. The dogs will be exposed in a positive manner. This seminar provides an opportunity to start your puppy/dog training on what they will actually be looking for as certified adults.  

Level II Advanced Scenario K9 HRD Seminar – Dogs must have either attended a Level I seminar to participate or get special approval from the instructor. 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).

Level III Advanced Specialized Training - FACTS K9 training is now happy to offer Level III courses that are specialized topics and scenarios in K9 training that vary from course to course. Each Level III has specific requirements depending on the topic. Level III is set to be a challenging course for K9 teams who are currently going on deployments. The two areas of specialty we are currently offering are disaster and criminal investigations.

Level I and II Seminars are held bi-annually at the beginning of March and at the end of October. Level III Criminal investigation is held in early October of each year. The Level III disasters will be held throughout the year and can also be booked as private seminars. Puppy trainings are held throughout the year.

Private Training - Groups may also book the facility for private training 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.

E:facts.k9@gmail.com 

P: 979.739.8353


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: Puppy Seminar

dog searching
Dog Team Searching

January 15-16, 2022

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

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

How to register: All interested participants must email Dr. Alexander for consideration at facts.k9@gmail.com. Once your email 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 email Dr. Alexander at facts.k9@gmail.com

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:  Ben Alexander and Tiffanie Turner

Cost: $400.00

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 I K9 Seminar

dog searching
Dog Team Searching

November 4-6, 2022

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 a registration 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 opens March 1, 2022:  Please use THIS FORM after March 1, 2022.

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:  Ben Alexander and Tiffanie Turner

Cost: $400.00

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 II Advanced Scenario HRD K9

dog searching
Dog Team Searching

March 11-13, 2022

This seminar exposes dogs to whole fresh bodies as well as bodies in varying levels of decomposition. This level 2 will also offer indoor building scenarios, buried training at a green cemetery and a crime scene scenario. 

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 a registration form 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 use THIS FORM to register

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:  Ben Alexander, Lisa Higgins, Tiffanie Turner, Karen Paquette, and Kryssie Thompson

Cost: $425.00

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 1-2, 2022

Level III: Advanced Criminal Investigations

Instructor: Dr. Ben Alexander*

Criminal Investigation will focus on simulated real-world scenarios from real cases. These scenarios will take place in various environments. The scenarios will also involve a range of investigative material from full remains to trace evidence. K9 teams will work what is applicable to their expected missions. This course is for advanced HRD dogs who are actively deploying in criminal investigations.

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 RegisterRegistration will open March 1, 2022. 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.

Cost: $450.00

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.

 

*additional instructors may be added if demand and conditions allow


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.