K9 adopted from shelter sniffs out hidden electronics

- The Manatee County Sheriff’s Office has a new computer-sniffing dog, but she’s not your typical police K9. She’s a former shelter animal turned officer.

Gia was rescued from the Bishop Animal Shelter in Bradenton, and then trained to sniff out hidden electronics like cell phones, hard drives, laptops, even SD cards. She can find anything related to hidden data, like child pornography.

Detective Joni Zimmermann is her handler.  She says dogs like Gia are a critical asset in her line of work: investigating crimes against children, especially those suspected of trading in child porn.

"There's certain places they'll hide these things where a normal detective wouldn't be able to look, or couldn't check, but her nose is going to go further than we can with our hands," explained Zimmerman.

Detective Zimmermann says, for Gia, sniffing out electronics is like play.  Zimmerman said she thinks Gia is one of only about five electronic-sniffing dogs in the U.S. right now, but that number is likely to rise.

Gia is the second rescue dog that has gone to work for the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office.

Up Next:


Up Next

  • K9 adopted from shelter sniffs out hidden electronics
  • Women wanted for taunting child with autism on video at Winter Haven school
  • Jewelry store offers $300 reward for TECO lineman's lost wedding band
  • Skimming devices found at Ybor City SunTrust Bank ATMs
  • Tampa Bay school districts announce makeup days
  • 4-year-old dies after finding gun in grandmother's purse
  • Hillsborough County deputies rescue 103-year-old woman during Irma
  • Florida ranch takes 'farm-to-table' one step further
  • FEMA opens one-stop-shop for help after the storm
  • Donations pour in as Bay Area Puerto Ricans worry about family back home