Awards of the Big T

Cleopatra Big T Award

Cleopatra award My First dog, "Cleopatra", was an outstanding trailer. She taught me the first major lesson all bloodhound handlers have to leard - Believe your dog!
In 1963, because of Cleopatra and her accomplishment, I became a member of the Eastern Police Bloodhound Association and was the training officer that year. This was a position I held for fourteen years.
In her nine year working life, Cleopatra had in excess of Three hundred successful documented finds (1962-1971).
It was because of her trailing ability that I decided in 1972 to set up an award named the "Cleopatra Award" to be given to other outstanding bloodhound trailers (not handlers) giving recognition to these outstanding animals for the work they do.

1972 - "Joker" - New York State Police, Troop K. Handler and Trainer - Trooper Neil Howe. The first hound awarded the Cleopatra Award, Joker ran an eight mile trail and caught three subjects in a burglary of a television store.

1973 - Award not given

1974 - "Jackie" - Vermont State Police. Trainer and Handler - Trooper Dennis DuGuay. For the year of 1974 this dog's many trails logged an 89% success record.

1975 - "Sam" - New York State Police, Troop K. Trainer and Handler - Trooper Neil Howe. Sam won his award for his success in threee difficult cases.
  • A 52 and 1/2 hour trail, eight city blocks, on Staten Island, New York led to a pier where the body was found several days later.
  • Sam was responsible for the apprehension of the murderer in double homicide in White Plains, New York.
  • Sam's third case was a six mile trail in a burglary that resulted in evidence recovery and walk-up find.
    1976 - "Rock" - Roane County Sheriff's Department, Rockwood Tennessee. Owner and Handler - Ralph Culvahouse. After four hundred searchers in the mountains of Scott County, Tennessee failed to locate a missing subject, Rock ran a trail on Sunday, September 26, 1976 and located the deceased subject. The Trail was ninety-five hours old, five miles long and the dog was in harness for five and one half hours.

    1976 - "Barney" - Ocean County Sheriff's Department, New Jersey. Handler and Trainer - Carl Hooper. Barney ran a trail on an eleven month old baby which had been abducted. The Police had searched for two hours before calling in the bloodhound. Seven minutes later Barney led his handler to a garbage can in a backyard, held the missing baby.
    * Especially noteworthy in this case is the fact that the infant was carried the entire distance, thereby disproving the old belief that bloodhounds follow tracks.

    1977 - "Clem" - Connecticut State Police. Handler and Trainer - Andrew Rebmann. In April of that year, Clem was used in a search for a missing elderly man. Clem was scented on the seat of an abandoned automobile, ran a trail one hundred eighty hours old, and made a walk-up find.

    1978 - "Missy" - Connecticut State Police. Handler and Trainer - Horace Behrle, Jr.. Missy ran a seventy-nine hour old trail that led to a pond where divers found the body. She also ran an eighty-nine hour old trail that led to the edge of a cliff where the body was located.

    1979 - "Clyde" - Marshall County Sheriff's Department, West Virginia.. Owner and Handler - Bill Grimm. This award was awarded posthumously. Clyde died with his record just short of three hundred documented finds. His reputation was well known among the original members of NPBA. Outstanding among Clyde's accomplishments was successfully following a trail seventeen days old. Another extraordinary feat was a trail thirty-five miles long. In addition, a number of convicts are doing time because of his nose.

    1980 - "J. Edgar" - F.B.I., Knoxvill, Tennessee. Owner and Trainer - Robert Swabe. J. Edgar played a key role in the capture of James Earl Ray. read the whole store in "manhunters"

    1981 - "Sappho" - New York State Police. Handler and Trainer - William (Sy) Horton. This award was given posthumously for accomplishment related in "manhunters"

    1982 - "Virgil" - Owned, trained, and Handled by James Shaffer, Dewart, Pennsylvania
  • Virgil worked a missing person case for the Milton State Police when he was only fourteen months old. Within fifteen minutes,under adverse weather conditions, Virgil found the Woman lying in brush on a frozen creek bed. Virgil was given credit for saving her life.
  • Three months later he located a second missing person when he was called to the rugged moutains near the Laurelton Center. Starting in the centers canteen, an area heavily contaminated with the scent of other patients, Virgil, forty minutes and two miles later, led searchers to the cold, hungry - but alive - Patient.
    1983 - Award not given
    1984 - Award not given

    1985 - "Amanda" - Lexington Police Department. Owner and Handler - Roy Mardis. Amanda was pressed into service to look for the murderer of a young couple. After a high speed chase, the murderer fired on a Kentucky Trooper and ran into a fifty acre cornfield. The cornfield was surrounded when Roy arrived with Amanda. Roy didn"t have any back up with him, so two Kentucky State Troopers were sent with him. These officers were carrying mini-23 rifles and they were not dog oriented.
    The dog hit trail quickly and they started through the cornfield. After a short distant a visual track was found. The dog stopped and cast into the wind and left the visual track for the scent on the wind. Roy tried to persuade the troopers to leave the visual trail and follow him but they refused. Roy had only gone a few feet when Amanda found the subject. The subject jumped up with a gun and Roy shot him in the leg. Hearing the shot, the troopers opened fire with their rifles and killed Roy Mardis.
    * Noteworthy is the fact that Amanda was due to have a litter of puppies at anytime but was still able and willing to get the job done. Sadly and ironically, her proud master was killed.

    1986 - Award not given
    1987 - "Beauregard" - Yates County Sheriff's Department. Handler and Trainer - Sheriff Jan Schofield. October 9, 1986 - Nicholas Otero escaped from Wayne County jail (where he was being held for beating his wife to death). An eight square mile area was sealed off. The area was searched by dozens of Sheriff's Deputies, State Police, Lyons and Newark police officers. A helicopter from Onondoga County Sheriff's Deptment also joined the search. Beauregard was scented on a bed sheet from Otero's bunk, his relentless pursuit never wavered. He led Schofield over blacktop, down railroad tracks, through backyards and recreation areas and finally into a swamp in the town of Arcadia where the bloodhound found the subject lying face down in heavy cover.

    1988 - "Dolly" - Alabama Department of Corrections. Dolly is one of the only bloodhounds working in law enforcement that works free on felony cases. She watches her handler and when he is out of her sight she will sit and wait for him to catch up before starting up again on command. When she makes her find visually, not by scent, she will do a recall and return to her handler. At this point, patrol dogs can be sent in to hold the subject, or other control measures can be taken. Her impressive list of finds are too long to include here.

    1989 - "Napoleon" Owner and Handler - Lou Burgarello, Sparks Nevada.
    Various documentations for this award came from all over Nevada. Affidavits were received for Napoleon's work in solving murders, rapes, armed robberies from the city of Sparks, Reno, Pleasant Valley, Fallon and other places throughout Nevada. Included is his very valuable assistance in trailing Claude Dallas - a self styled mountain man who killed two game wardens in 1981, and eluded police for many months. Napoleon trailed Dallas to the Paradise Hill bar near Winnemucca, Nevada where information obtained there led to his capture.

    1990 - Award not given

    1991 - "Lightin" - Jersey Village Police Department, Texas. Owner, Trainer, and Handler - John E. Hart.
  • November 6, 1991 - Lightin was asked to assist at a crime scene in Carrizo Springs where Sheriff (Doc) Murray had been murdered. Lightin trailed to a house where the suspect's blood soaked clothes were found. A Thompson submachine gun, stolen from the Sheriff's home was recovered on the dogs trail. However, a stolen 45 Colt automatic was not found. The suspects were taken into custody, one suffering from a bullet wound inthe arm, apparently inflicted in a fight with the Sheriff.
  • On June 16, The Murderer of Sheriff Murray escaped. On June 19th, Lightin again assisted in running Jose Luis Briseno into heavy cover.Then with the assistance of a helicopter and Officers from the Dimmit County Sheriff's Department, U.S. Border Patrol, Texas's Department of Parks and Wildlife, Briseno was taken without resistance.
    Read the whole story in "The Silent Witness"

    1992 - Award not given

    1993 - "Zook" - Niagara County Sheriff's Department, Lockport, New York. Owner, Trainer, and Handler - Lee Minnie. Lee Minnie has been part of the Special Forces Unit for over twenty years providing bloodhound service to the Niagara County Sheriff's Department.
    1994 - Award not given
    1995 - Award not given
    1996 - "Duchess" - Trainer, and Handler - Larry Harris. 1996 Winner Duchess took a scent on a scent pad made from a nine month old scent article and she located a murderer in a large shopping mall in Santa Anna, California.

    1997 - Award not given
    1998 - Award not given
    1999 - Award not given
    2000 - Award not given
    2001 - "Scarlett" - Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. - Owner, Trainer, and Handler - Edward (Ted) Hamm
    2001 Winner      All of Southern California law enforcement is mourning the loss of Scarlet the seven year old bloodhound who led her handler, Edward (Ted) Hamm, on more then 600 calls for service in the last five years. The statistics may not seem impressive until you realize that Ted and Scarlet were volunteers.

         Of the hundreds of cases Scarlet worked, she provided investigative information, additional evidence, Witnesses, or actual, walk-up suspect identifications on 70%-75% of her trails, Positively verified by detectives follow-up. Ted has testified to Scarlet’s trails on 33 occasions, in 16 cases that went to jury trial, where Scarlet’s evidence was crucial to the outcome of the investigation and the arrest of the suspect. 15 of these cases were convictions, 14 of them were murder cases that resulted in the conviction of the suspect(s). One was a rape case where the suspect was acquitted because of a circumstance not related to the scent evidence. Many more times, the suspects and their defense attorneys were overwhelmed by so much evidence, including scent evidence that let to search warrants or confessions, that guilty pleas were entered before trial. Dozens of cases are still awaiting adjudication as it can take years for a murder case to go to trial in California.

         In 1997 Ted Hamm was asked if he would try his bloodhound ( Scarlet) on a murder case for the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s Homicide Bureau. The 90 homicide investigators in the largest Sheriff’s Department in the world had recently been trained in the collection of scent evidence with the STU-100 and the methods for applying the scent evidence, and scent discriminating bloodhounds, as a tool for criminal investigation. Ted applied Scarlet, somewhat apprehensively, to the murder investigation and impressed the investigators so much that, within a year, some detectives began considering Scarlet on a par with fingerprint technicians and serologists when calling collateral laboratory services to murder scenes.

    Scarlet passed on September 16th, 2001 of torsion/bloat.

    2002 - Award not given

    The Big T Multi-Purpose Award

    Multi-Purpose Award In 1977, I had been working bloodhounds for fifteen years and I believed they had the best noses in the dog world. I also believed in multi-purpose dog. This was a belief the National Police Bloodhound Association did not share with me. They believed that making a bloodhound a multi-purpose dog would have detrimental effects on the trailing ability of the hound. They stood on tradition and I resigned as the training officer. That year I trained what I Believe to be the world's first true multi-purpose bloodhound.

    "Tona" first was trained as a trailer and was a very fine one. Secondly, she was trained as a cadaver dog and finally as an extortion dog, one of only two or three ever trained for that purpose.
    It is my opinion that training any dog as a multi-purpose dog enhances the dog's working ability. You spend much more time with the animal, thus increasing the bond and the ability of the handler to read and understand the dog's unique communication methods.I do not recommend the first time handler to use this procedure. Learn to train one procedure and do it well before you go multi-purpose, and be perpared to spend a great deal of time with that dog.

    Today Multi-purpose dogs, including bloodhounds, are a reality all around the world.
    After all, making dogs better and more productive is what the dog business is all about.

    1987 - "MARQUESSA" - BODY & TRAIL DOG TRAINER / HANDLER GLENN RIMBEY. In a major search in Kansas for a woman that had been missing for over a year and believed to have been murdered, “ Marquessa” was taken to an area to be searched. She alerted near a large brush pile. The brush pile was moved and the dog still insisted something was there. They brought in a backhoe and started to dig. They hit an abandon well that had been collapsed and filled. The murdered woman was found at the bottom of the 35 FOOT DEEP WELL

    1988 - "FRONTIERS TONTO" - BLOODHOUND - TRAIL & BODY DOG OWNERS/ TRAINERS JOYCE & FRANK PHARES. March 1987 a large search was instituted for Karen Warner near Danville, IL by the Danville Police Department without success. March 12, 1987, “ Tonto”, a very young pup was taken to the area and in less than 2 hours led Joyce Phares to the body that had been hidden in such a way physical search could not find it. This find led to the arrest and conviction of Curly B. Lee.

    1989 - "JUNIOR" - LABRADOR --TRAIL- BODY- NARCOTIC DOG TEXAS DEPT OF CORRECTIONS HANDLER/ TRAINER BILLY L. SMITH SR. This veteran dog has a long list of finds; Narcotics, Bodies, Trails, and water recovery too numerous to list. “Junior” was responsible for the location of Peggy Anne Kimsey who had been murdered by her husband 11 years ago in Edna, TX. Scenes of that find are used in the Video-Cadaver Recovery procedures of Law Enforcement (Media Production, Lockport, N.Y.) “Junior” also assisted locating bodies when the Phillips 66 Complex in Huston, TX exploded. Some of the time he worked out of a bucket on a cherry-picker checking upper floors of the complex where conditions of the floors etc. made it too dangerous to walk on them.

    1990 - Award not given.

    1991 - "HOLIDAY HANDSOM MACK" - LABRADOR -- LABRADOR BODY -TRAIL -NARCOTICS DOG ACADIA PARISH SHERIFF’S OFFICE, CROWLEY, LA HANDLER - DOUG. SHORT . This young dog has already made his mark working narcotics in schools, vehicle stops, building searches and search warrant investigations. During a narcotic vehicle check by “Mack” he also alerted on a spot on a seat. This spot was identified as human blood. The St Martin Sheriff’s Department were informed. Two days later this information led the dept. to make 2 arrests and it solved a stabbing in St Martinville, Louisiana.

    1992 - "KATIE" - LABRADOR --NARCOTICS & TRAIL DOG OK HIGHWAY PATROL -- HANDLER CURTIS LEMING. This dog had many narcotic finds. As a trail dog, 8 months old, she ran a trail 2 1/2 miles long 92 hours old and found a body at the base of a cliff.

    1993 - Award not given.
    1994 - Award not given.
    1995 - Award not given.
    1996 - Award not given.
    1997 - Award not given.

OF SUNSET - 1998 Multi-Purpose Dog of the year - LABRADOR --- ACCELERANT & CADAVER DOG BRUCE LUDEMANN -- TRAINER/ HANDLER. As an Accelerant dog “Margie” worked a crowd of people at a crime scene and located the arsonist. As a cadaver dog she located a body in an enormous pile of fire debris that had been removed from a burned building.
    View Bruce Ludemann's Web page
    View Bruce Ludemann's Cadaver Web page
    View Bruce Ludemann's NEW Arson Web page

    1999 - Award not given.
    It gives me great pleasure to announce the
    2000 Big T Multi-Pupose Dog of the Year Award Winner
    "Candy" and handler Bill Tolhurst

    Bill Tolhurst with wife Natalie

            On December 9,2000 Bill Tolhurst was a scheduled speaker at the Niagara County Fire Services Awards Breakfast, He even presented a couple awards to people who have helped him over the years. As he finished with his speech and started to return to his seat, he was surprised when the Assistant Fire Coordinator Bill Manth stopped him from leaving the podium area. At this time the Sheriff of Niagara County Thomas Beilein came up to present Bill with the very award he (Bill) normally gives out. the "Big-T Multi-purpose Award" Bill was speechless and totally surprised.
    Candy Shataf 2000 Multi-Purpose Dog of the year William D. Tolhurst -- OWNER / TRAINER & HANDLER.
    During Candy's life she was known and Loved from Coast to Coast and around the world. Candy was an outstanding work dog working in the fields of Cadaver, Accelerant Detection,Narcotics,Article Search,Tracking and she was also a Hearing Impaired dog For Special Deputy William Tolhurst. It would be impossible to mention all the cases and finds Candy has made.
    Making her the 2000 "Big T Multi-Purpose Dog of the Year" couldn't go to a more deserved Dog and Handler Team. In Cadaver work Candy holds one of the oldest known finds by a Cadave dog. On December 14th,1987 Bill and Candy went to Fort Erie,Ontario, where some bodies that had been recovered belonged to fallen soldiers of the War of 1812. Candy checked an area and alerted to the possibility of more boddies. Months later the alerts were confirmed by the person in charge of the digging and said they recovered 3 bodies from the area of Candy's alert. In Article Searches Candy has way to many finds to even mention here. From finding evidence at Crime scenes to helping the public find lost items from wallets, jewelry, watches. In some criminal cases Candy found the knife used in the slashing of many tires out at the Lockport Mall, and in assisting the NYS Dept. Of Enviromental Conservation in locating the hidden butcher knives of some deer poachers. In Narcotic work Candy was one of the key witnesses to get a conviction on a drug case finding 8 ounces of Cocaine at the UPS terminal. Candy's accomplishments can go on and on which makes her the year 2000 Multi-purpose Dog Of The Year.

    2001 - Award not given.
    2002 - Award not given

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