Arizona Department of Corrections hounds help in search for missing Tucson girl

TUCSON, AZ - Several special hounds from the Arizona Department of Corrections are helping to search for missing 6-year-old Isabel Celis of Tucson.

One of the hounds aiding in the search this past weekend visited the ABC15 studios Monday in Phoenix.

The 2-year-old hound mix named Freddy is highly trained in locating missing people.

"These dogs are trained for man trailing, search and rescue, finding little kids, Alzheimer's patients," said ADC Service Dog Program Administrator Ralph Pendergast.

ABC15 put Freddy to the test by hiding a trainer to see if Freddy could sniff him out.

"We have a scent article that will be introduced to the dog," explained Pendergast. "And through training and repetition they [the dogs] know that is the scent they're supposed to be following."

Time is critical.

"The odor, the scent, will only last so long," Pendergast explained.

Within just two minutes, Freddy found our missing man. It's that keen sense of smell investigators are hoping will help in the search for missing Isabel.

"By giving them a piece of the puzzle, which is the known scent article from our missing person, they have the ability to scent discriminate everything else that's out here and look for the particular scent they were given," Pendergast said.

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