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MCSO gets new scent tracking K-9 to help in missing person cases

MADISON COUNTY, TN (WNBJ) - In Madison County, the sheriff’s department held a press conference at the West Tennessee Regional Training Center today to announce a new project focusing on bringing missing individuals home.

The Madison County Sheriffs’ Department added a new addition to the department this morning to help in their search with finding the missing.

The new K-9 is a DNA scent dog that is a part of the Bringing the Lost Home project.

The K-9 will help locate those with Alzheimer's, lost children, and any other missing person cases.

“We are just excited. The key is to help the people find the lost. To me if we relocate one person who gets lost then it’s all worth it,” said Sheriff John Mehr, Madison County Sheriff's Office.

The deputy who was selected as the newest K-9 handler explains the critical role these K-9s play in the department.

“With the department, obviously, it will be a third narcotics detection dog we will have. This one will be unique with the Scent Discriminate Tracking, where she can pinpoint a certain scent instead of a bunch of scents in the woods to help locate endangered adults, endangered children,” said Tanner Cornelison, K-9 handler, MCSO.

Madison County Sheriff’s Office is the second department in the state to receive a Scent Tracking K-9.

“As far as I know, there are not many places in west Tennessee that have dogs that have that capability so it will be good not only for the department but for the whole area as well,” said Cornelison.

Through a federal grant, along with the new K-9, the department will also be utilizing Scent Evidence K-9 Preservation Kits.

The CEO of the company explains how to use them.

“Our human scent is specific to us, just like our fingers or DNA. So, our scent kits allow an individual to capture that scent and store it in the event someone goes missing. So, it is taking a five by nine gauss pad wiping underneath the arm or glandular area. Placing it in the jar and filling out the information,” said Paul Coley, CEO of Scent Evidence K-9.

The Alzheimer's Association is partnering with the Bringing the Lost Home project to host a naming contest for the new female K-9.

You can submit your name suggestions for the pup, by donating five dollars to the Walk to End Alzheimer's and emailing Please, include your first and last name and phone number in your email.

The contest ends this Friday at noon.

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