FARMINGTON — It was an extra special Farmington Rotary meeting on April 9 as two of the stars of the hit Animal Planet television show “North Woods Law”, Maine Game Warden Kris MacCabe and his dog, Morgan, came to join the gathering.

MacCabe spoke about his job and about the role that Morgan plays in helping him. He said that he often will use Morgan to look for double animal kills by hunters, where the dog can spot shell casings or detect human scent or gunpowder residue.

There are 10 canine positions on the Warden Service. Mostly black labs, such as Morgan, are used in part because of their strong hunting traits. “We use the labs because they’re so friendly,” MacCabe added. “We look for lost kids”

If Morgan finds a person, she sits there and starts barking.

“When I get there, she gets a reward,” said MacCabe. “She gets to carry a toy back to the truck.”

Morgan is also a house pet, he said.

Although she isn’t cadaver-certified, Morgan can find a dead person, said MacCabe.

“We’re in charge of all search and rescue in the state. That’s our big thing with the dogs,” he said.

Morgan is four years old and has been on the Maine Warden Service’s Canine Team for three years. Unlike some other law enforcement agencies, the Warden Service does its own in-house training for its dogs, said MacCabe.

One of Maine’s highest profile missing person’s cases has been that of Geraldine Largay, who was through-hiking the Appalachian Trail in July of 2013 when she disappeared somewhere between the Poplar Ridge and Spaulding Mountain lean-tos in the Rangeley-Stratton area. No trace of her has been found.

“It’s definitely a bizarre case for an Appalachian Trail hiker,” said MacCabe, noting most lost hikers are found relatively quickly. He said that the Maine Warden Service would continue to search for her.

Last week, buckets of dirty diapers were found in and around waterways in Farmington and Wilton. MacCabe admitted that this littering case was one of the worst he’d ever seen.

“Those places where there’s 10 or 15 buckets are literally where there’s going to be trout in another two weeks,” he said.

Despite cases such as Largay’s disappearance and the one involving the diapers, working for the Maine Warden Service is a great job, said MacCabe. He played a Warden Service recruitment video showing some of the spectacular scenery that game wardens work in on an everyday basis in Maine.

“We’re a little bit different than most state law enforcement. We recruit a lot,” said MacCabe. “It’s a good time in the Warden Service right now. We’re hiring, which from our perspective is a good thing.”

There are several open positions in the Warden Service, including one in the Rangeley area, where longtime Game Warden Reggie Hammond recently retired.

“He’s a wealth of knowledge up in the Rangeley area,” said MacCabe. “He’ll be sorely missed.”

There are four new episodes of North Woods Law coming up in May. One of the reasons for the lack of recent new episodes was cases that were progressing through the legal system, said MacCabe.

“We don’t air cases currently pending,” he emphasized. “We don’t want it to have an affect on the case.”

For more information about the Maine Warden Service, go to www.mainegamewarden.com

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