The unsettling downfall of now-former Subway spokesman Jared Fogle following his arrest on porn-charges has filled newscasts for the past week. One crucial piece of evidence against Fogle, who agreed to plead guilty to having X-rated images of minors and paying to have sex with teenage girls, was a well-hidden thumb drive that was discovered by Bear, a 2-year-old black Labrador Retriever, NBC News reports.
Bear has been trained to detect electronic storage devices (he’s been called a “porn-sniffing dog,” which actually sounds a little creepy). So far, the rescue dog has taken part in several high profile investigations, including Fogle’s and Olympics gymnastics coach Marvin Sharp.
“I thought I was being punked, but it does work,” Indiana prosecutor Steven DeBrota told NBC News, admitting that he initially doubted Bear’s abilities.
According to Bear’s trainer, Todd Jordan, he can smell “the components of electronic media,” even if they’re well hidden in, say, a large suburban house. Jordan told NBC News he only knows of four other dogs who have been trained to perform this highly specialized — but incredibly important — function.
Jordan hopes to continue to train other dogs, so that they might be placed with police departments around the country. That will be Bear’s next assignment: reporting for duty with the Seattle Police Department, where he will continue to help investigate Internet crimes.