A mixed breed stray dog has always had a nose for the job, back to his days wandering the streets of the southern Brazilian city of São José dos Campo
A mixed breed stray dog has always had a nose for the job, back to his days wandering the streets of the southern Brazilian city of São José dos Campos.
Since graduating into the Civil Police department’s K-9 unit, Manioca, or Maní as he is affectionally called, has become a key member of the homicide unit – the first dog in Latin America to trace human blood.
The four-year-old was initially spotted at a crime scene four years ago and immediately adopted by his trainer, police officer João Oliveria.
Since joining the force, Maní has participated in 30 investigations in which forensic experts were unable to detect human blood.
Police officer João Oliveria trained Manioca to become the first dog in Brazil to be able to detect human blood. The four-year-old mixed breed pooch was initially spotted by Civil Police agents at a crime scene in the southern city of São José dos Campos
Manioca, or Mani as he is known, has participated in 30 murder investigations
‘He optimizes our resources, is effective in detecting blood, helps us a lot in continuing the investigation, identifying the perpetrator and subsequent arrests,’ Civil Police chief Neimar Camarco told Brazilian newspaper Jornal Hoje.
The union with Maní couldn’t have come at a better time for the São José dos Campos police. Afterall, they were already in the early stages of developing a program to train dogs for the detection of human blood at crime scenes in the Paraíba Valley.
Oliveria started preparing Maní for his new life at the only stray dog in the K-9 unit in 2019 and recalled how he was questioned by a pair of police officers who spotted him burying a blood sample under the ground during a training session.
They were not convinced when he explained that he was training the dog to work with homicide detectives and forensic cops and were still not satisfied when he called the pooch over to find the blood.
Civil Police chief Neimar Camarco is impressed with Maní and what he means to the police department: ‘He optimizes our resources, is effective in detecting blood, helps us a lot in continuing the investigation, identifying the perpetrator and subsequent arrests’
Maní is the only dog in Brazil’s police force who is trained to detect human blood
It took some additional convincing at the local police station to assure commanding officers that Maní was on his way to becoming a critical component of future criminal investigations.
Oliveria and Maní have encountered some rough patches in their relationship that been quickly solved by their close bond.
Soon that union will have a new addition when one-year-old Savana finishes her training program.
Oliveria rescued the crossbreed dog after he found her beaten and dehydrated on the side of a road and has grown attached to her as well.
‘It made our work a lot easier, but there is also a side to it that ends up being very personal, which I think everyone at some point in their childhood has wanted to work with a dog, have a service dog,’ Oliveria explained. ‘And being able to have a dog and work with them helping as a partner, it seems like a movie story, really fun, I am very grateful for that.’