Albert the bloodhound’s droopy ears and fine-tuned nose make him a ‘beacon of hope’ in hunt for the missing

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Pam Medhurst, a Sheriff’s Department search-and-rescue volunteer for the last 24 years, has raised and helped train many dogs, but she always wanted a bloodhound. Then she got Albert. The San Diego County Sheriff’s Department’s newest search-and-rescue dog Albert is more than a bloodhound. “Bloodhounds kind of represent the epitome of a search dog,” Medhurst said.

“And when we’re looking for someone … (Albert) serves as a beacon of hope for the family.”

Advertisement Teams are on call morning or night, responding to multiple incidents a month to help the department find everyone from missing people to lost hikers to stranded mountain bikers. But Albert, whose handler walks around giving out trading cards and stickers with the bloodhound’s face on them, is special for a number of reasons. He was destined for the gig.

(Alejandro Tamayo/The San Diego Union-Tribune) Albert’s journey to becoming a search-and-rescue dog began when he was donated to the department by the Honorary Deputy Sheriff’s Association in January 2022 as a 13-week old puppy.

He and Medhurst were put through a rigorous year of training, beginning with a five-month academy, before taking on the National Police Bloodhound Association — a national agency that trains and certifies bloodhounds for search and rescue

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