The Zion’s Crossroads area of Louisa County Virginia once again found law enforcement as well as search and rescue Bloodhound handlers gathering for a joint three day seminar in mantrailing sponsored by the Louisa County Sheriff’s Office and Virginia Bloodhound Searchand Rescue on March 2nd- 5th. Mother Nature had challenged folks to train all winter with storms and blizzards, and so in keeping things consistent, she started the seminar with a giant snow storm which closed schools, and cleared roadways of traffic while bringing out the snow plows and sand trucks.

Waterproof Clothing

Blizzards and Bloodhounds. K-9 Isabelle with Newport News PD is 11 years old.

K-9 Isabelle with Newport
News PD is 11 years old.

Monday morning groups wrapped up in water proof and warm clothing to work hounds and train around the commercial sites surrounding the Best Western hotel headquarters and nearby corporate park as well as wooded areas. The following days, with roads safer for travel, groups spread out among the nearby towns of Louisa, Gordonsville, Troy and Palmyra. Teams ran a variety of trails through all sorts of terrain, distractions and cold weather conditions including line-ups, split trails, missing member, vehicle pick- ups, fresh hot trails, aged trails, negatives, etc., etc. and had various scentarticles from gauze pads, to hamburger wrappers, dog treats, and even hot air (breath). At other times scent articles were made/collected from evidence available. Through it all, the combination of centuries of careful and selective Bloodhound breeding for scenting ability along with the dedicated training by handlers came through to produce successful teams. The later, aided by veteran instructors like Lt. Dan Senger (Buckingham County Sheriff’s Office/VBSAR), Det. Buck Garner (Louisa County Sheriff’s Office/VBSAR), Officer AJ Jackson (City of Richmond PD/VBSAR), Master Deputy Terry Davis (Ret. Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office/VBSAR), and Lt. Patrick Sheridan (Louisa County Sheriff’s Office/VBSAR) who again coordinated and planned the logistics for the seminar. Sincere appreciation is extended to Louisa County Sheriff Ashland D. Fortune for his continued support of this seminar, and Capt. D. L. Bateman of the Louisa County Sheriff’s Office. These coordinated efforts and VBSAR instructors produced three days of excellent opportunities for progress and training. For information on next year’s seminar, please contact Lt. Patrick Sheridan at

Article and photos by Adriana Pavlinovic