LOCAL NEWS

Remembering URL, the late police ‘Porn Sniffing Dog’

Jan 5, 2023, 7:07 PM
Black lab in sheriff uniform, smiling...
URL, a retired police service dog at the Weber County Sheriff's Office, died at 7 years old. (Weber County Sheriff's Office)
(Weber County Sheriff's Office)

WEBER COUNTY, Utah — Weber County Sheriff’s Office announced the death of a famous and adored police service dog named URL.

URL was rescued from the pound after bouncing around different shelters and foster homes. He was considered untrainable due to his behavior, but Central Indiana Labrador Rescue and Adoption said differently.

CILRA saw his unique talent and potential, and made sure to find him a proper home. That’s how he made his way into training to become a police service dog.

A nationwide program trained him to be an Electronic Storage Detection Canine, and graduated as the fourth dog to ever be certified. That’s when Weber County Sheriff’s adopted him for service. Since then, he has been famous in the news for his work, earning “The Porn Sniffing Dog” as a nickname.

His job was to investigate the crimes of Child Sexual Exploitation Material and Child Sexual Abuse Material. The nickname was fitting, as he and his handler, Detective Cameron Hartman, collected countless pieces of evidence that Weber County Sheriff’s Office said would have otherwise been overlooked, leading to the arrests and prosecution of many offenders.

“Thank you, “URL”, for trusting me, for working so hard, for loving me unconditionally, and for being part of my family. You were always there for me as I benefited from your talent in helping to catch some of the wolves that live among us,” Hartman said in a Facebook post.

The dynamic duo executed over 2,000 search warrants before URL retired in January of 2022.

Some of the most remarkable finds that the Weber County Sheriff’s Office shared were a USB drive disguised as a key with other keys on a keyring, an SD card that was on a high shelf in a St. George residence, a cell phone hidden inside a book, and cell phone parts hidden inside a wall behind a toilet in the Weber County Jail.

He even sniffed out a micro-SD card that was closed inside of a baby jar inside of a pencil box with other items inside a cedar chest full of more items.

black lab sniffing around office space

URL, doing the sniff in uniform. (Weber County Sheriff’s Office)

With a job as unique as his, URL was trained and rewarded in a different way than other police service dogs. He wasn’t trained in bite work, drug sniffing, or as a bomb dog, and he wasn’t rewarded with toys like many other police service dogs. Instead, he was rewarded with food, which the Weber County Sheriff’s Office said utilized the dogs natural urge and hunger, incorporating training into each and every feed.

News outlets picked up his story internationally. He was featured in many media publications, including Inside Edition, The New York Daily News, Breitbart, The Drudge Report, The Washington Post, The Kim Komando Show, The Daily Mail (UK), The Sun (UK), and CNN.

He was even featured on the television show “Cops” (Season 30, Episode 12) and was interviewed by Terry Crews in Los Angeles.

He was enjoying his retirement with his handler, Detective Cameron Hartman, when he died on Dec. 30, 2022. URL was just under 8 years old.

On top of his duties as a cop dog, URL was known to be an emotional support dog for the detectives and officers dealing with difficult subjects and for many victims of his cases and their families.

“You brought so much joy to the children who were home during search warrants, the countless kids of all ages as I got to show you off at dozens of public schools, colleges, public demonstrations, and church groups,” Hartman said in a Facebook post. “It’s been an unbelievable honor to have been the largest part of your unstable life. I will miss you terribly until I get to see you again.”

black lab in dog sheriff uniform with a patch

URL made his uniform handsome and wore his badge proudly. (Weber County Sheriff’s Office)

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Remembering URL, the late police ‘Porn Sniffing Dog’