For Eno, a 3-year-old German shepherd, Nov. 19 was just another day on the job.
A day that included tracking a suspected burglar for 40 minutes through woods, creeks and ravines over nearly a mile.
As part of a Charles County sheriff’s office K-9 unit, Eno and his handler, Pfc. Claude Clevenger, responded to a burglary in progress call in Waldorf on Nov. 19. Two men attempted to flee the scene in a Cadillac Escalade, and both eventually jumped out of the car and ran.
Clevenger and Eno tracked the passenger of the car, eventually making a loop back toward the scene to find the man hidden under a deck in Accokeek, Md.
It was a hunt that would have been almost impossible for humans alone, according to William Cotton, head trainer for the county’s K-9 unit.
“Not unless you have somebody who is extraordinary at man-tracking,” he said.
Eno has worked for the Charles County sheriff’s office since October 2011, and is trained for patrol and narcotics-related tasks with Clevenger.
“He’s a very stable, social dog,” Cotton said.
Eno is one of 12 dogs in the sheriff’s department: Eight work with patrol and narcotics units and two are used solely by narcotics officers. Two more are currently being trained as bomb dogs.
These dogs do not track a single person’s scent, like bloodhounds in pursuit of a runaway. Instead, they smell for crushed vegetation and human odor, Cotton said. Depending on factors such as weather, these dogs can track scents up to an hour old and over several miles.
Eno’s work Nov. 19 was a “notable accomplishment,” Cotton said, but nothing the German shepherd hasn’t done before.
The incident is under investigation. The man tracked by Eno, Theodore E. Logan, 23, of District Heights has been released on bond. The other man, Thomas Williams, 24, of Brandywine, is being detained. They were charged with burglary and theft.