Since the initial onset of the necro-mortosis pandemic in 2006, one of the most useful, yet least recognized forms of undead suppression has been the cadaver dog.
Typically German Shepherd, these highly trained cadaver canines, were originally trained in human remains detection or HRD. Additionally, many are now 'cross-trained' for seek and rescue, bomb sniffing and arson missions. And in 2012, many are also becoming key assets in locating and attacking reanimated zombie corpses.
A cadaver dog can alert it's handler to the presence of a reanimate up to 50 feet away. The most advanced canines will attack necrotic flesh only when it is in motion. But if the corpse is not zombified it will alert the handler to its position and wait patiently until dismissed
The advantages of using cadaver dogs have become so recognized that their is actually a shortage of supply. Many USA training facilities have waiting lists that span 9-12 months.
"We can't keep up with the demand." said Lucas Farel, owner of Mountain Pride, a private Colorado facility that specializes in government contracts. "Every city in every state wants them" Lucas continued. "But they take a long time to train properly. As soon as the dog is ready, the government has a placement for it." Farel, a soft spoken man in his late 50's said "The customer wants them to find the moving dead first. That's what matters to them. The dead in the traditional sense are not going anywhere." he said laughing.
Farel was also reluctant to use the word 'zombie.' "I don't like that term. The 'Z' word. It's not very respectful. I call them 'walking human remains.".
Mountain Pride even has it's own small 'body farm'. A place where dogs can experience a real, decomposing yet still animated corpse. Body farms are used by forensic teams to study decomposition on human remains under controlled circumstances. Donated remains and fully animated corpses assist in the study of this science. The scent of real decomposition is different than artificial scents on the market. A dog needs to experience this in real a real life situation.
The official name for the grim addition to the Colorado facility is 'Forest' or Forensic Osteolegy Research Station. It has proven so popular that they have to turn private handlers away constantly.
Unfortunatly, there are those who are now getting into the field simply for the money, or the prestige of a cetificate that helps validate dogs for breeding. A number of uncertified and illegal training operations were closed down earlier this year. Charges of fake certification and inadequate training have sent at least one owner, Corvin Balej to jail for 6 years.
Added to the governments overwhelming demand for these dogs, is their increased usage by private security firms and licensed zombie hunter teams. A well trained canine can be sold for up to $5000 in the private market.