Meet Daisy the porn sniffing dog

Daisy, a 19-month-old black Labrador, looks and acts like any other friendly puppy. She greets visitors with enthusiastic barks, and welcomes petting. But when she’s on the job, she’s working to catch child predators.

Daisy is the second trained “porn-sniffing” dog in the country. She can sniff out the smallest of micro SD cards or the oldest of floppy disks – devices that child pornographers use to hide their illegal material.

The idea of a “porn-sniffing dog,” or an electronics search dog, came about in early 2014, explained Frederick Hopper, president of security agency Spartan Tactical in Montgomery.

Todd Jordan of Tactical Detection K9 in Kentucky developed a program to train dogs to detect electronics after having a conversation with a law-enforcement officer who said the dogs would be helpful for detecting electronic devices used to hide child pornography and other criminal evidence.

Jordan trained Daisy, and then Hopper was trained to become Daisy’s handler.

Daisy is trained to pick up the scent trails of materials used in electronics. Unlike in bomb and drug detection, electronics have scent trails that only carry a few inches.

It’s all about the details, Hopper said, and there’s fascinating science behind training a dog, whether it’s to detect evidence of a crime or sense a person’s impending seizure.

“We know we’re just scratching the surface of what the dogs can do,” Hopper said.

Daisy already has one high-profile arrest under her collar.

She helped uncover evidence in the case of U.S. Olympic gymnastics coach Marvin Sharp, Hopper said. Sharp has been charged with producing child pornography, receiving visual depictions of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct and possessing computer storage containing visual depiction of minors engaging in sexually explicit conduct.

Child predators are the most heinous criminals, Hopper said.

“We gotta protect our children,” Hopper said. “And if we don’t, that’s our failure.”

Hopper and his wife, Katie Hopper, run Spartan Tactical out of their home and private kennel in Montgomery.

They have eight bomb-detection teams that include a dog and a handler, plus Daisy. The Hoppers work security with their bomb dogs at the World Trade Center and other locations and events in Manhattan, and they are vetted by the Secret Service and the FBI to work government- and law enforcement-contracted jobs.

Hopper said he hopes to provide Daisy’s specialized skills to police agencies throughout the East Coast. With only two porn-sniffing dogs in the country, the other dog, Bear, works in the western half of the U.S., and Daisy will work in the East until more dogs are trained.

“I’d like to see these dogs everywhere,” Hopper said. “Child predators think they can do whatever they want, but maybe [canine detection] can stem that tide of this type of criminality.”

Daisy herself was a victim before she became a search dog. She was owned by drug abusers, Hopper said, and when her owners couldn’t pay their drug dealer, the dealer stole Daisy, abused her and then tried to sell her.

After she was rescued by police and initially put in a shelter, one officer recognized her drive in spite of all she had been through, and recommended she go to Jordan, where she could be trained to make a positive impact.

Hopper jumped at the opportunity to have Daisy, who joins a long line of search dogs and other animals – including ducks and rabbits – that Hopper and his wife have rescued over the years.

“A dog that was a victim is now loved and has a great purpose in life,” Hopper said. “She went from victim to hunter.”

Source: http://www.recordonline.com/article/20150920/NEWS/150929979