Local Kids Meet Game Warden Service Dog 

Catherine Pegram

Lots of kids are excited to see a pet dog do a few tricks, such as sit, beg or roll-over. Today some kids in Bangor got to meet a dog that can do much more than that – like search for missing people and solve crimes. 4-year-old Koda is a trained search dog for the Maine Warden Service.He and his handler, Game Warden Paul Farrington, took some time out of work to visit with kids at the Maine Discovery Museum in Bangor. “A lot of kids don’t know what a game warden is, even in the state of Maine.”Farrington says meet and greets like this are designed to change that and give him a chance to show off his partner, who specializes in searching for people.”For what he and I can search with his nose in 4 to 5 hours it would take a lot people, shoulder to shoulder, going through the woods to look for someone just using their eyes. “”He’s found a lot of things that have been stolen from camps – where people have broken into camps and stolen guns.”Koda’s also good at cracking crimes – a trick not lost on these kids. 9-year-old Daniel said, “I didn’t know dogs could smell underground or in the water.””I didn’t know that they could like find people buried five feet under the ground or sniff under snow,” added 10-year-old, Monica.8-year-old Braeden said “I really liked how they told us all about how canines are used for crime solving.”Farrington also hopes these children learn they don’t have to be afraid of service dogs, like Koda, who could help them in a time of need.”If they are in that situation where they are lost and they hear that bell coming through the woods, which is on his collar, they’re not going to think it’s some kind of foreign object that’s trying to scare them. It’s actually someone trying to help them – and it’s going to help them get found quicker.”For the past two years, Farrington and Koda have been awarded for recovering key evidence in poaching cases. They are one of 10 game warden canine teams in the state.