This is now spreading on social media
Searches with several Internet search engines show the same photo and same quote. There is no back story or provenance for this photo or story. Several people point out that
- A dog inside a helicopter at 30 feet, with strong rotor down wash, is not going to pick up the scent of someone on the ground.
- A handler is not going to permit their highly trained dog to jump 30 feet and risk serious injury.
- Search dogs are normally attached to their handler on a lead line and not in a position to freely jump out of a helicopter.
- How is the scent of a person different from the scent of a person “in need”? There are people in the helicopter adjacent to the dog and the dog would have to pick up a unique scent from a random stranger that indicated the stranger is “in need”. From 30 feet away with a powerful wind blowing everything away from the helicopter.
- The photo, above (other versions found online) show the ATV trailers in the background are licensed in North Carolina.
- The Charlotte-Mecklenburg, NC police department has a cadaver dog named K-9 Morty. Morty looks identical to the dog in the Internet meme. He is trained to search for dead bodies. A cadaver dog senses the scent of death, not people “in need”. Note the gray leash and strap across his chest area (at front) are the same as the other dog photo, above. Photo from WBTV.
- Morty was one and a half years old in March of 2018 and came straight from Columbia, South America. No mention of Puerto Rico. As of mid year, they were starting to train Morty to locate drowned bodies.
- Here is a photo from March 14 2018 by WCCB.
- Here is a video clip of Morty, provided by the Charlotte-Mecklenburg PD. From the still, notice the gray strap at his lower chest, at left, when the lead is attached at front, rather than on his shoulders.
- We cannot tell from the photos with certainty that Morty the cadaver do is the same golden retrieve shown in the photos. However, there is a Morty the cadaver dog in North Carolina that looks remarkably similar to Morty the flying dog. What a coincidence.
This looks busted.
Actors who portray journalists, jumped on the meme, with some re-tweeting the story in various forms. Because you know, stuff you see on social media is sufficiently accurate to use for a fiction writing exercise! And note that actor Kurwicki has retweet the nonsense statement “This is Morty from the rescue dog” – what?
This clip explains that Morty is trained to find drowned victims and makes no mention of leaping out of helicopters in Puerto Rico.
In just 2 days, this false meme’s original post on Twitter has been “Liked” 310,000 times and shared 66,000 times. I won’t be doing any more follow ups on this as I put “Dogs With Jobs” on permanent “Mute” and will no longer see their posts. I generally Mute or Block those who post false memes.
Also, after 2 days, I am unable to find any substantiation of the jumping out of helicopters in Puerto Rico claim – zip, nothing.
Text for search engine
This is Morty. He was deployed in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria and jumped 30 feet out of a helicopter when he caught the scent of someone in need. He’s now in NC for Hurricane Florence.