A fascinating glimpse into the world of Jax, a victim recovery dog working in the Hampshire Police.

There are fewer than 40 dogs working in this highly specialised field within the police.  Victim recovery dogs – sometimes known as cadaver dogs or human remains dogs – search for human remains, blood or tissue as well as shallow graves or blood spattered evidence such as clothing or weapons.

Fox red labrador Jax looks quizzically at the camera. He sits on the grass and is wearing an orange working harness.
Jax loves the search for its own sake, which makes him a natural for the job.

The stakes are high – on the one hand, the work of Jax and other VR dogs is key to identifying forensic evidence, which can be definitive in prosecuting violent crimes. But there’s a very human side too: in any search for a missing person who is presumed dead, the location of a body can bring much needed closure to family and loved ones. 

It’s not an everyday sort of job, and Jax is often deployed as part of a large missing person search, travelling from home and dropping into unfamiliar sites. His steadiness, sociability and love of the hunt means that he and his handler, Police Constable Felicity Thomas are a highly effective partnership and also fit well into the wider context of search teams.

P.C. Felicity Thomas of the Hampshire Constabulary talks training, rewards and the thrill of the search with Dogs with Jobs presenter, Kate Fairweather.

Browse more dogs with interesting jobs.

Do you work your dog or dogs? If you would be interested in coming on the show, please get in touch with Kate at team@shineradio.uk or call 10730 555 500.