Sophia Silva Award
We are pleased to announce the National Bloodhound Training Institute’s
Sofia Silva Award. Sofia's life represents the spirit in which this award
is given and represents. This is our way of brining honor to the Silva
family and Sofia’s memory. Sofia was a child who was taken from us by a
serial killer. In her short life, she touched so many people and should
never be forgotten. This award will serve to keep not only Sofia’s
memory alive, but a reminder of all the children who have been taken from
us. This is at the heart of all we train for.
The Sofia Silva award is given to recognize those individuals who have
preformed with a determined sense of duty and responsibility by assisting
in saving the life of a lost or missing person. Whether they are civilian
Search and Rescue, Law enforcement, or Fire Rescue personnel.
YOU KNOW AN OUTSTANDING TRAILING DOG TEAM?
Do you know of a canine trailing/ tracking team that has
gone beyond the call of duty?
The National Bloodhound Training Institute is currently
accepting nominations for the Sophia Silva Award
This award will be presented in April, 2004 to a
Canine trailing/ tracking team that has made remarkable
trailing/ tracking contributions to communities or to the saving of lives
- The nominated dog team must accomplish something out of the ordinary
which calls attention to the outstanding trailing capabilities of the
team. The accomplishment must have occurred in the year 2003.
- The nominated dog may be of full or mixed breed. Dog does not need
to be registered to qualify.
- Judges must be able to verify the authenticity of all stories
- This award is for outstanding service to humanity and
Canine Excellence and will be given annually by the National
Bloodhound Training Institute.
Deadline to receive
this years nominations is February 15th, 2004.
Please send your
Sophia Silva Award
c/o: Mark Holmes
Texas Bloodhound Search and Rescue
Please submit the following:
A photo of the dog (with handler if
A 500-word or less description of
how the dog has demonstrated
The canine's name, breed, age and
The owner’s name, address and
Person submitting (if other than the owner/ handler) name,
address and phone number
2002 Award Recipient - Detective Mark Holmes
Sofia's Parents Present the Award
to Detective Holmes
Recipient for the
On April 13, 2002, Detective Mark Holmes
and his canine partner were dispatched to a call of a woman who left
her home the previous day who was despondent and had recently been in a state of
depression. Several hours after the women left her residence,
3 suicide notes were located in her home which were directed to her
husband and two children.
Detective Holmes was contacted after three other canine
teams were unable to locate the woman's trail. Detective Holmes and his
canine partner "Bo" trailed the woman's scent 7.1 miles before stopping due
to health concerns of "Bo" which were caused by temperatures above 90 degrees. At this point
Detective Holmes returned to speak with the ground searchers and relayed the information he
gained from his trail and requested they continue where he left off.
The woman was found by ground searchers less than 100 yards from where
Mark and Bo
ended their trail. The woman had overdosed and suffered from heat exposure
and insect bites. The woman was in a coma for several days prior to
regaining consciousness. The woman has made a full recovery.
The trail was 19 ˝ hours old and took Detective Holmes 4 hours and 30
minutes to run.
Because of his determination and commitment to training, Mark was able to
give vital information that led to saving a life.