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I am a k9 handler with the Owensboro Police Department and was at your seminar given here a few weeks ago. I would like to describe how the skills learned from that class, were put to use to locate a felony suspect on 01-29-2011.

On this date, at approximately 0030 hrs, I responded to Hwy 2181 and Dutch Mill Rd., in Pellville, Ky., to assist State Police in tracking a fleeing suspect. I was advised that a suspect attempted to run over trooper Greg Newman and Trooper Newman had to jump out of the way from being struck. Suspect then ran his truck into a tree, off the road and fled the scene on foot.

I deployed my k9, Bady, and a track was started at the suspect's truck. K9 Bady located a loaded handgun and the holster on the track and approximately 1 mile into the track came across a steep bank with a creek beneath. K9 Bady began looking up and down the bank side for a safe crossing and I began looking for signs of where suspect had crossed. I observed a slide mark, made by apparent foot slippage on the other side of the bank and observed broken ice on the creek water. Once we crossed the creek, I placed K9 Bady at my observation location and K9 Bady was able to continue his track.

Approximately 2 miles into the track, we came across heavily barbed wire fencing and again found ourselves looking for a safe place to cross. As we walked the fence line, I observed frost covering the fallen leaves and noticed several spots where there was no frost. Just above this area, I observed the barbed wire to be slightly bowed from the way it was on either side. Once we were able to cross over the fence, I again took K9 Bady to my observation location and K9 Bady continued a track immediately. Approximately a half mile farther, K9 Bady located and apprehended suspect hiding in some heavy brush.

It was this incident that reminded me of how valuable the man trailing seminar was to me. It literally made the difference from catching the suspect to letting him get away. I would like anyone who has not taken this course to read my story and allow me to say that this is by far the most beneficial seminar I have ever attended and feel that every law enforcement officer should possess this knowledge to help them become better officers.

It was because of my k9 that we located the suspect. It was because of the man trailing skills learned I could continue my k9 in a successful direction.

Thank you for your seminar and I look forward to sending more success stories to you.


Officer Steve Morgan
Owensboro Police Department
Owensboro, Kentucky
January 30, 2011

Recently after our home was robbed, I became very uneasy about being home alone. My husband, Dennis, suggested purchasing a dog trained for personal protection.

During an online search, I found the AMA web site which featured a dog (Sky), which we were interested in.

I talked with John Holcomb extensively about my situation, what I was looking for and needed in a dog. Sky sold before we could come and look at him, which was a disappointment, but John undertook to find me a dog which would suit my needs and fit into our lifestyle.

The dog he found for me, Luka, is a gem. I credit John for his good judgment of both people and dogs. We talked several times on the phone and my confidence in his judgment was not misplaced. He worked with Luka for three weeks of training, before my husband and I made the trip from Maryland to Indiana to get her.

When we arrived, John immediately began a crash course in dog handling. I appreciate his patience, and cheerful encouragement as it was obvious, watching him work with Luka and then doing it myself that any mistakes she made, were really my doing.

We were fortunate that our weekend in Indiana coincided with one of AMA's free training weekends. We met some really fantastic people and received excellent training with Luka. I was impressed at what the AMA group offers in the way of free training to the general public. Although their main focus that day was on the man trailing procedures, John also worked with us and at least one other attendee, privately on obedience training. It was an added bonus to see that Luka actually had some tracking ability and was able to complete two tracks successfully.

We have only had Luka for 3 weeks, now, but she is extremely alert and already showing protectiveness towards both my husband and myself.

Since purchasing Luka, John has made himself available to answer questions and give advice anytime we need it. 
Although our confidence in Luka grows daily and she is proving to be exactly what I needed, it is very reassuring to know that support is available.

We were so happy with our AMA experience, and John's expertise in particular, we have signed up for the week-long Spring Seminar in May.

I would recommend John Holcomb as a trainer and the AMA organization as a whole to anyone wanting to develop excellent dog handling techniques.

Ginny Fitzpatrick
April 12, 2011

We wanted to say thanks for such an awesome day. I have not seen Bump work like that in a long while...at least on that first trail. To be honest I NEVER saw him work like he did on your trail! I do have to say if I had a clue of those hills or the distance I would have refused to run it so have to say am glad I did not. I sure would have missed a great show and front seat tickets too! It was so amazing! Thanks for that dare you tossed out as well! And Dave was a wonderful flanker! I can't really call him an instructor for that trail as Bump and I did work that whole trail ourselves. Dave offered different suggestions on how to work w the down hills without going off my feet and other things but never interfered or pushed his ideas on me. That was breathe of fresh air and wish there were more out there like that as I usually end up feeling the other person feels THEIR ideas are THE only way etc. I look forward to any challenge you toss out there in the future!

Its 1115 pm and we are finally pulling in our driveway!

Thanks for a great first day of training.

Thanks again!

Johnna and Scott Perkins
St. Clair, MO
March 27, 2010

I attended a training class on 12-19-09 with my Bloodhound Daisy. We worked with Tony and John and worked the best all terrain trail we have ever worked!

Other than a one on one two day corse I took a few years ago, I have done most of my training on my own.

I was excited to learn of the AMA. In one day of working with this great group of guys, I learned so much. I definitely will be doing more training with them. See y'all in January !

Thanks for a great first day of training.

Ed Carr
Washington, IL
December 20, 2009

We attended a mantracking training class with Tony, John, Skylar, and couple of the other guys from AMA. How impressive!!!!! I belong to 2 different S&R groups and WOW!! I think everybody should take this class. The things you will learn and take back with you are amazing. Things you would never even think of on your own but make such sense. These guys were awesome. I highly recommend it to all who are involved with S&R in one way or another, whether with dogs, horses, or on foot.

Vikki Hill
Brazil, IN
November 24, 2009

I attended the man tracking workshop. I have to say that I was very impressed with the trails that were laid out. They went through one track step by step with you and then let you do one on your own(with a team). Signs that are so simple to look for can be missed if you don't know what you are looking for. Tony and John, Thank you for the OUTSTANDING training day.

Angel Robison
Plainfield, IN
November 21, 2009

On Christmas Eve 2005, I lost my best friend. He was a 16 year old Wire Fox Terrier named Buddy. At first the idea of getting another dog just didn't seem right. But after a few months, I found myself going to the HSI(Humane Society of Indianapolis) website on a regular basis to see what new dogs were up for adoption. In July 2006, I happened to notice a litter of Bloodhound/Beagle mix puppies just listed. One in particular caught my eye, his name was Urchin (We call him Bogey). The next day my wife and I made a trip to HSI. Everyone there was so helpful and friendly. They answered all our questions and we decided to adopt him on the spot. We brought him home and everything went great. He was so easy to housebreak and he got along great with his two sisters, Heidi (a miniature poodle) and Tabatha (a black cat, also from HSI).

One day while watching TV, a program came on about search and rescue dogs. It showed how these dogs were used for finding missing persons, tracking down criminals and much more. It was amazing. I wondered if Bogey could do this. So, I did a little research and decided to give it a try. I bought a book on mantrailing and began working with Bogey. Bogey really seemed to enjoy it and so did I. The book was good, but I knew it would be much better to get some hands on training from real experts.

After doing a little surfing on the internet, I found the American Mantrailing Academy. They are located in Greencastle, Indiana, just a short drive from Indianapolis. They provide free training twice a month to Police, Fire Departments, Search & Rescue Teams, and AMA members. I contacted them to see if it was okay to come out to one of the training sessions. They said sure. I went and found their help to be just what I needed. It was a lot of fun too. So, I joined up. At a cost of only $30 a year, it was a real bargain. I continued going to their training sessions twice a month and practicing at home as well. Finally, on October 7, 2009, Bogey and I certified as an Expert Mantrailing Team. We will be registered in a national database and will be available for search and rescue assistance whenever we are needed.

He is a great companion and a great Search & Rescue Partner. HSI rescued Bogey. Now, Bogey can rescue others. Thanks HSI & AMA.

Dan Gray
Indianapolis, IN
October 26, 2009

A co-worker and I just attended the American Mantrailing Academy Fall Seminar Oct 5th - 9th. Me and my co-worker are from Laguna Indian Reservation in New Mexico. I have been in Law Enforcement for 6 years and I have to say that this is one of the best trainings that I have ever been to. I gained so much knowledge from all the instructors and staff. I think that Tony Keith has started something that no-one will ever forget. All of the staff was very very knowledgeable and extremely helpful. They are very dedicted to what they do. Especially one of the instructors, Jill. She stayed out at night past midnight helping some of the students with their k-9s'. She helped me with my bloodhound, Jimmy, get over his fear of trailing at night. I learned a lot from Tony and all the other instructors that helped me out. I dont think that I can say enough for the staff and instructors at AMA.

I would just like to say Thank you to AMA for the great job that they have done. I really recommend AMA to anyone who is wanting to be part of k-9 man trailing. This is the academy that you should take. It don't matter if you have many years of experience or if you never have had any training at all.
I really hope that we get to have a chance to set up a academy location out our way.
Thank You so much.

Tony Romero
Pueblo of Laguna Indian Reservation, New Mexico
October 09, 2009

The staff at AMA was great, we took the spring academy, which was great. We learned a lot from AMA. We enjoyed the company of some well talented guys. Tony, David, Herman, Skylar, Paul, John, Richard and Andy! We will be back in the Spring of 2010 with our bloodhound Abby and or newest member Ziva! Keep up the good work! See you all in the spring!

Bill Botelho
Jamestown, Rhode Island
September 02, 2009

I had been working with my dog - trying to teach him mantrailing - using a book as my guide.

I was so excited when I found the American Mantrailing Academy!

I immediately sent Tony an email to see if my dog and I would be a good fit for his Academy. He said yes. So, I joined up. Last week, I attended my first free training session. It was great! Everybody there was so friendly and helpful. The expertise and the experience of the staff really shows. And a special thanks to Master Trainer - Dave Wheeler. It's not often you can get hands on training from someone with 30+ years of experience.
I can't wait for the fall seminar!
Thanks Tony!

Dan Gray
Indianapolis, IN
July 13, 2009

Had a great time. Good locations to train. Trainers are rock solid. There are not many opportunities to train with people with these credentials in Indiana. I'll be back!

Mike Arthur
Martinsville, IN
July 11, 2009

American Mantrailing Academy is the "BEST". The staff are very professional, they know their stuff. We were very impressed when we met them. Looking forward to another course(next year) with our new bloodhound pup. Thanks for everything! Again AMA you're the BEST!

LuAnn Botelho
Jamestown, RI
July 02, 2009