A 17-month-old Labrador retriever named Ruger is the latest cop to join the fight against hoarders of kiddie porn after being purchased for $11,000 by the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office in Ohio.
Since Sept. 7, the cute black pooch has been assigned to a K-9 unit of the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, using his snout to sniff out hard drives containing a chemical agent that leads them to child porn.
Ruger has been modeled after a similar dog used to find child porn on the computers of disgraced Subway pitchman Jared Fogle, according to the Columbus Dispatch. Fogle, 39, pleaded guilty to child porn charges in 2015 and was sentenced to 15 years in federal prison.
Ruger has been trained to alert police officers whenever he smells a certain chemical on the flash drive of computers.
Although the chemical’s stench isn’t as pungent as those found in narcotics or bombs, a dog’s strong sense of smell can still pick it up, the newspaper reported.
“[But] It takes time,” said Ruger’s trainer, Jerry Azzi. “There is an odor to everything on this planet.”
Azzi added that teaching a dog how to sniff out kiddie porn on hard drives is no different than training them how to detect a rotting corpse.
“You isolate an odor,” Azzi said. “You’ve got to find the right dog for the job. Nothing more, nothing less.”
Ruger is Ohio’s first computer-sniffing dog and part of a small group of canines — fewer than two dozen — that do this type of work across the country, according to US Immigration and Customs Enforcement.