On an early Saturday morning on this day in 1969, kids gathered in their living rooms, glued their eyes to the TV and met one of the most iconic cartoon characters of all time. With a catchy theme song and an adorable catchphrase, Scooby-Doo captured the hearts of millions of families and quickly became a household staple. Although Scooby-Doo was famous for his silly demeanor and scruffy voice, he was also revered for his top-notch detective skills. In his honor, let's meet some real-life crime-solving canines.
REAL-LIFE SCOOBY DOO
Talk about a real-life Scooby-Doo. Not only was this dog named after the famous character, he was also a witness at the murder trial of his owner. Scooby was believed to have been home at the scene when his 59-year-old owner was found hanging from the ceiling of her Paris flat. Although police believed that her death was suicide, her family demanded a murder investigation. The dog was brought onto the witness stand to see how it would react to the suspect. It barked furiously. The judge praised the animal for his "exemplary behavior and invaluable assistance." (Telegraph U.K.)
DOG DISCOVERS MISSING MAN
Jerome Nadler, a 76-year-old man, went missing after a fishing trip in a wooded Smithtown Park in New York. His family had almost lost all hope of finding him. After four days, a police dog named Chase found a man lying down beside a brush. Chase lay down next to the man until his handlers got there. Sure enough, that man was Jerome Nadler. Nadler was dehydrated and covered with bug bites. He was airlifted to Stony Brook University Hospital. (WNBC)
FORMER POLICE DOG'S STILL GOT IT
You may not be able to teach an old dog new tricks, but an old dog never forgets the lessons he learned when he was a wee pup. A former police sniffer dog was able to track down his owner's purse after she was pick-pocketed at a pet shop.
After the event, Tracey Thompson and her daughter Jenny came back to the shop with their dog Sam to see if he could pick anything up. Just as they hoped, the 2-year-old German Shepherd picked up the scent immediately and dragged his owners to an industrial estate almost half a mile away where her purse was found. Mrs. Thompson said, "When we got there, he had a sniff around. I gave him the command to search and he picked up the scent and set off running." (The [U.K.] Daily Mail)
DOG BRINGS HOME HUMAN FOOT
Hunting dogs are infamous for bringing home carcasses of dead birds and squirrels to their owners, but a San Bernardino resident did not expect what her dog Lucky brought home one afternoon. Lucky had been out and about in his Newberry Springs neighborhood when he came home and brought a human foot to the door. His owner immediately contacted San Bernardino Sheriff's Department officers, who found more body parts along the I-40 freeway. If it weren't for Lucky, no one would have known about the missing body.
DOG FINDS MISSING AUTISTIC BOY
Scotty Meyer, a 5-year-old boy with autism disappeared from his family's house in Wisconsin while the air conditioning was being repaired. More than 500 volunteers helped the Meyer family search for Scotty throughout the neighborhood and in the wooded areas near their Oak Grove home.
The next morning, Scotty was still missing. But soon, Autumn, a volunteer Golden Retriever, found him half a mile away from his home along a bluff by the Mississippi River. The bluff had been repeatedly searched, but it was Autumn's sharp nose that finally located the missing boy. ([Minnesota] Star Tribune)
HERO DOG FINDS ABANDONED CHILD
A newborn baby girl who was left under a bridge was rescued by a dog who stayed the night protecting her in Ghana. When the girl and the dog were found, the abandoned child was snuggling against the animal for warmth. Luckily, the baby was in good health aside from an infection from her uncut umbilical cord. The search party was on the lookout for the missing dog when it stumbled onto the baby. What a hero! (The [U.K.] Daily Mail)
HIKING DOG FINDS HUMAN HEAD
What began as an ordinary hike for two women in the Hollywood Hills turned into a full crime-scene investigation. The two women were hiking with their dog when he found a plastic bag in the brush containing a head. After the dog's discovery, police continued to look around the area for additional body parts. (The Dog Files)
Not so fast, butt-smuggling drug dealer! A man who attempted to bring heroin into the U.S. was caught by officials thanks to their drug-sniffing dog. The 25-year-old was caught with 136 grams of the illegal drug stuffed into his rectum. The suspect had been randomly selected for a screening at the El Paso crossing. At this point, the dog knew something was up. The man admitted that he had the heroin hidden in his body and then removed the oval-shaped pellet from his body. Next time your dog sniffs your friend's butt, don't scold it; it might be on to something. (Recovery Now)
Next: More Pet Heroes!
Two men were stopped at a neighborhood in Knoxville, Tenn. after a police officer saw a woman hand the man something from another vehicle while they were parked in a pharmacy lot. After the police pulled them over, a drug-sniffing dog alerted them about something in the trunk of their car.
When officers popped open the vehicle, a backpack was found with items for making meth, including a plastic dish with white residue. Under the passenger's seat was an empty box of pseudoephedrine, which was what the woman had passed to them. Just another day in a drug-sniffing dog's life. (Knoxville News Sentinel)