DENVER (CBS4) – Colorado Parks and Wildlife is taking a page from police departments — and turning to dogs as investigators. K9 Cash is one of the two dogs in the pilot program.

(credit: Colorado Parks and Wildlife/YouTube)

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CBS4 first met Cash in September, when CPW told us about hunters from New York who were illegally hunting on private property in Larimer County.

(credit: Colorado Parks and Wildlife)

Cash not only found the bull elk that was poached but he also located the hunter, who was fined.

“Cash is also trained to detect people,” said Brock McArdle the District Wildlife Manager for CPW.

(credit: CBS)

“We got to a grove of Aspens and he started smelling the air, air scenting we call it and I could tell, hey they’re somebody over there in those group of aspens.”

Cash and Broke are partners in crime.

“Cash, without his nose, I would’ve never found it. Like I say I’m pretty good officer but I was headed back to the ATV to go home.”

(credit: CBS)

That’s not all the 2-year-old black Labrador retriever is trained to do — he can track odors of 11 different animals, including a few endangered species.

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Cash is the only K9 in the country trained to specifically track boreal toads — a species on the decline in Colorado.

“It’s a high mountain toad that lives 8 to 10 thousand feet up in the mountains and they’re state endangered and another fairly endangered species is a black footed ferret which live in prairie dog colonies.”

Boreal Toad (credit: Colorado Parks and Wildlife)

Cash’s efficiency in the field combined with his friendly demeanor means he’s not only great at solving big wildlife crimes, he’s also the perfect dog to educate kids.

Cash is part of a pilot program, and his partner in, Brock McArdle says it’s been going better than expected.

“He just really helps spread the word of ‘hey’ what we’re doing, what our mission is with parks and wildlife and wildlife management.”

(credit: CBS)

For Brock, it’s been a labor of love, “I didn’t realize how much work it would be but it’s been very rewarding. Not only is he a good companion for me but he’s been a good ambassador for parks and wildlife to the people of Colorado and beyond.”

CPW is two years in to the five year pilot program, which is currently funded entirely by donations. Here is the link to the GoFundMe.

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With contributions from Jamie Leary. She joined the CBS4 team in 2015 and currently works as a reporter for CBS4 News at 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. She couldn’t imagine a better place to live and work and will stop at nothing to find the next great story. Jamie loves learning about and hearing from her fellow community members, so connect with her on Facebook or Twitter @JamieALeary.