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First Sheriff's search and rescue bloodhound now on duty

The San Diego County Sheriff's Department's first search and rescue bloodhound is now on duty, sheriff's officials said Tuesday.

Albert joined the department in January 2022 as a 13-week-old puppy, according to sheriff's spokeswoman Melissa Aquino.

"After more than a year of training, he is now serving our communities as part of the Sheriff's Search and Rescue K-9 Unit," Aquino said. "His special mission is to help find missing and at-risk people.


"Albert graduated from training at the end of March 2023 and received his badge from Sheriff Kelly A. Martinez," she added. "He was donated to the sheriff's department by the Honorary Deputy Sheriff's Association."

The bloodhound is named in memory of Sgt. Don Albert Parker, who was a 25-year veteran of the sheriff's department and served as unit leader of search and rescue squad for nine years. He died of brain cancer in 2018.

Albert and his handler, SAR K-9 Unit Leader Pam Medhurst, are members of the National Police Bloodhound Association. The group is composed solely of sworn members of law enforcement. Pam and Albert completed their certification during training and testing in Los Angeles in February.

The Sheriff's Search and Rescue team is an all-volunteer unit. It performs wilderness and urban rescues and searches for missing people. Teams are available 24 hours a day to respond to local, state and federal agency requests. They also help the sheriff's department with evacuations during wildfires, flash floods and other natural disasters.

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