New York police dogs are some of the most specialized tools in law enforcement. One K9, however, is taking things to the next level.

Nearly every Hudson Valley law enforcement agency works with K9s. They assist with arrests, help find missing people, and even help arson investigations. While most of these jobs have been well-publicized, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYS DEC) has a dog that is trained for what may be the most unique K9 tasks in the state.

K9 Cramer trains with the NYS DEC (NYSDEC via YouTube)
K9 Cramer trains with the NYS DEC (NYSDEC via YouTube)

New York DEC K9s

Similar to most K9s working with police departments across the state, NYS DEC dogs are trained in evidence recovery. Instead of recovering contraband like drugs. however, DEC K9s are used to help foil environmental crimes like poaching. DEC K9 Cramer, for example, is trained on finding some very specific items. From the NYS DEC:

K9 Cramer is certified [to find] venison, striped bass, and ducks. He's also trained for detection on spent shell casings and firearms. [He is also] certified in handling protection and tracking.

What Makes NYS DEC K9 Cramer So Special

K9 Cramer is unique in that he is the only dog in New York State officially certified to detect striped bass, a skill that can come in handy when investigating poaching activities. Recently, K9 Cramer's skills were put to the test in a different but just as specialized way.

Illegal Angling in New York

K9 Cramer is also certified in detecting blackfish, and last week in Long Island, NY he assisted Environmental Conservation Officers (ECOs) in recovering hidden evidence. From the NYS DEC:

ECO Pabes observed two anglers fishing at a popular location for out-of-season blackfish (tautog)...  The Officers approached the anglers who denied catching any fish, but K9 Cramer quickly found the out-of-season blackfish hidden underneath a floating dock.

In all, 10 illegally-harvested blackfish were recovered thanks to K9 Cramer's professional nose (below). It was just another day in the life of conservation officers and their canine partners who patrol New York State.

K9 Cramer recently helped detect illegally-harvested blackfish (NYS DEC)
K9 Cramer recently helped detect illegally-harvested blackfish (NYS DEC)

K9 work is of course only part of the NYS DEC's activities. In addition to education programs, many ECOs are also involved in some of the most technical and dangerous rescues in the state. Check out the perilous human helicopter rescue and the epic puppy extraction below.

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