Columbia, SC (WLTX)- The kennels are full at the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division. The bloodhounds are ready to work.
"They are tracking dogs, that is what they are designed to do," said SLED Chief Mark Keel. " They are bred to track the human scent," said Keel.
Keel says the dogs are a long standing tradition and have proven to be very successful when it comes to finding a missing person or fugitives.
"I think the thing that amazes me about them is that the trail may be two to three hours old and in the middle of woods but you can put that dog on the trail and he can run it," said Keel.
The tracking team works on training their old bloodhounds and the newest liter of puppies two to three times a week.
"One of the reasons their ears are so long is that when their nose if on the ground their ears help. They almost act like a vacuum, keeping the smell close to their nose," said Keel.
The puppies will be trained for nearly a year and only a few will be kept on to work at the department.