Cathy Palmer got her first beagle, Abby, in 1985 and she has been hooked ever since! Cathy recognized that as a scent hound, beagles excel at sniffing out things like bed bugs. In 2009, she founded Scentsational Hounds, LLC.
She undergoes rigorous training with all of the Scentsational Hounds’ dogs. In addition, she works with them on a daily basis, keeping them in tip-top form and ready to do an inspection at a moment’s notice.
When Cathy and one of her dogs arrives at a location to search, she first walks the premises to make sure that it’s safe for the dog to walk around. She determines how best to search, then she walks the dog through the premises. If the dog alerts to an area, Cathy lets the homeowner, property owner, manager, etc. know immediately that there is an infestation. Providing an independent, unbiased third-party inspection, Cathy is not affiliated with any pest control companies, but she can prepare reports for them with details about the inspection.
Cathy has also shown and bred her AKC pure-bred beagles and is a member of the National Beagle Club of America. Additionally, she is the president of the American Beagle Relief Network (AmBRNet), which raises funds to aid in the rescue and rehabilitation of beagles in the U.S.
Why use a certified canine/handler team?
Scentsational Hounds canine/handler teams are certified by the National Entomology Scent Detection Canine Association (NESDCA), an independent third party. Certification is required annually to assure the canine/handler teams are working to the highest standards.
A certified team consists of three parts:
- The Dog. A properly trained dog is essential. Scentsational Hounds’ dogs are trained at J&K Canine Academy, the gold-standard in scent detection training, using scientifically proven training methods. They are trained to alert only on live bed bugs and viable eggs/larvae.
- The Handler. Our Scentsational Hounds handler, Cathy Palmer, has been trained to work the canines in real life situations, attending advanced K9 workshops and one-on-one training with J&K Canine Academy scent detection trainers. She understands the signals given by the dogs with ongoing training using blind hides (handler does not know location of the bed bug hides) and challenging new locations help keep the canines at peak performance.
- The Team. A certified team refers to the dog and handler, neither can perform without the other and they must work together as one.