At Aegis Environmental we have used the super sense of smell a dog has for environmental applications, specifically detecting petroleum contamination. Similar to dogs that are trained to locate chemical traces of accelerants for arson investigations, our scent dog, Piper is trained to detect traces of petroleum such as crude oil, diesel fuel, and gasoline. It is estimated that dogs are able to detect scents 40 feet underground. When petroleum is found in numerous locations, Piper is trained to pinpoint the area where petroleum concentration is greatest.
During fieldwork, Piper’s handler will aid her towards success in multiple ways. This includes utilizing all known information about the site and the suspected contaminants. Piper’s handler will draw upon his experience to develop a search plan, giving Piper the best opportunity to locate the desired odors. When, or if, anything of interest is found, the area is marked and the appropriate professionals will take over. Dogs are capable of detecting trace amounts of materials, which would be almost impossible to find using other means. Piper is a valuable and unique asset trained to help site investigators locate the area where contamination is present. Ultimately it is up to the investigator to make sure the information provided by Piper’s search is valid and used in a valuable way.
Our goal when putting Piper on a job site is to identify the source of contamination quickly, potentially saving time and money in investigation costs for our clients.