A suspect has been arrested after a dog trained to detect electronic circuitry found a memory stick containing images of child sexual abuse hidden in a tin box inside a metal cabinet.
Rhode Island police received Thoreau from Connecticut police after the dog completed 22 weeks of training, which involved detecting gadgets for food.
The only other US gadget-sniffing dog remains stationed in Connecticut.
But some UK experts have questioned the efficacy of the training methods.
Thoreau’s handler, Det Adam Houston, told the Providence Journal: “If it has a memory card, he’ll sniff it out.”
The food-based reward system was how the dog ate “every day”, he added.
But Maggie Gwynne, of Sniffer Dogs UK & International, told the BBC this was “completely contrary” to the UK police and prison service’s training methods.
“Offering a sniffer dog food in exchange for a ‘find’ opens the way for an abuse of the system – if its hungry enough it will take food from anybody, not just its handler and therefore defeats the object of the search,” she said.
“It would be interesting to research their success rate, however.
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