Longmeadow K9 Kai recognized for finding items stolen during home break-in

Longmeadow K9 Kai recognized for finding items stolen during home break-in
Published: Sep. 30, 2022 at 11:36 PM EDT
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LONGMEADOW, Mass. (WGGB/WSHM) -Longmeadow Police recognized one of their K9s, a German Shepard named Kai, after the dog proved instrumental in a recent home break-in investigation.

Kai and his handler responded to the scene days later and despite time and recent rain, K9 Kai was still able to recover the items. The dog’s handler, Officer Amanda VanBuskirk, said Kai’s nose led them to the items, but it’s their teamwork and bond that contributes to their success.

Officer Amanda VanBuskirk and Kai have been together for seven years, To become the dynamic duo they are today, they went through weeks of schooling and training

“He works harder than any officer here and he did a phenomenal job,” she said.

Western Mass News spoke with VanBuskirk about a recent task that gave the pair the opportunity to utilize their skills.

On Saturday, police responded to a break in that was in progress on Converse Street in Longmeadow. Two suspects involved were arrested, but the homeowner was still missing several items.

Five days and some rainy weather later, VanBuskirk and Kai went to the scene to check it out.

“We had been off for a few days and we weren’t really sure if we’d be able to find this but there’s no real timeframe scientifically that says how long odors stays on an object,” she said.

But for Kai, this wasn’t a problem.

“We were turning around we were gonna go back to our cruisers and all the sudden, give me an indication that there was an odor so without him we would’ve just left and we would’ve never found that evidence,” she said.

In the woods behind the home, Kai was able to filter through dirt and debris and recover multiple pieces of evidence, including jewelry, a purse and wallet Kai is seen with here.

VanBuskirk emphasized to Western Mass News they wouldn’t have been able to find the evidence without Kai, but the bond the best friends have makes their work possible.

“While he is using his nose I’m using my eyes, we’re guiding each other to areas that we haven’t searched he’s giving me an indication he see something or smell something but I can’t see and then he leaves me right to it and we bag it tag it and we continue to keep going with our investigation…Any other handler well say it’s the strongest bond you have you and your canine partner,” she said.

Officer VanBuskirk reminds people of the importance of watching over their valuables and keeping everything locked, especially with recent car break-ins.

The investigation into the house break-in is ongoing. Anyone with information is asked to contact Longmeadow Police.