At the time, Maggie the bloodhound was 11 weeks old and just starting to learn the ropes. She is the police department’s first bloodhound and will use her astute sniffer to help find missing people.
But what caught her attention the most during our meeting was a used paper napkin that was discarded on the ground.
“They have the most scent receptors out of any dog breed in the world,” said her handler, officer Logan Moore. “So they pretty much naturally are instinctive into tracking and finding. So that’s why they’re mainly chosen by police agencies.”
That napkin must have smelled wonderful because she kept going back to it. Moore explained that her long ears are part of what makes her such a good napkin tracker. As she moved along sniffing, he explained, her velvety flaps were acting as aural funnels, dragging along the ground and bringing invisible scent particles up into the folds of her face.
Three weeks prior, Maggie had arrived in Charlottesville from Kentucky, where she was born. Just as Moore began to share her back story, a woman approached. “Oh, my goodness, is that a cute puppy,” she gushed. “You know, I’ve never seen a bloodhound puppy.”