Manioca's journey began when he was discovered at a crime scene four years ago. This is a representational image. KPGS/Gettyimages

A stray dog of mixed breed, Manioca, also known as Maní, has always shown an exceptional talent for the job, even during his days wandering the streets of São José dos Campos in southern Brazil.

After joining the Civil Police Department's K-9 unit, Manioca has become an invaluable member of the homicide unit, making history as the first dog in Latin America trained to detect human blood.

Manioca's journey began when he was discovered at a crime scene four years ago.

Police officer João Oliveria, impressed by the dog's abilities, decided to adopt and train him.

Since joining the police force in 2020, Maní has been involved in 30 investigations where forensic experts struggled to detect human blood.

In these cases, Maní's remarkable abilities as a blood-detection dog have proven invaluable, as he has successfully located and identified human blood samples that would have otherwise gone undetected.

His exceptional skills and keen sense of smell have made him an indispensable asset to the investigative team, providing crucial evidence and aiding in the pursuit of justice.

Police officer João Oliveira played a crucial role in training Manioca to become the first dog in Brazil capable of detecting human blood.

It was during a crime scene investigation in the city of São José dos Campos that Civil Police agents first noticed the four-year-old mixed-breed dog.

Recognizing his potential, they immediately adopted him, and Officer Oliveira took on the responsibility of training him to utilize his remarkable olfactory abilities in the detection of human blood.

''He optimizes our resources, is effective in detecting blood, helps us a lot in continuing the investigation, identifying the perpetrator and subsequent arrests,'' Civil Police chief Neimar Camarco told Brazilian newspaper Jornal Hoje.

The timing of the union between Officer Oliveira and Maní proved to be fortuitous for the São José dos Campos police, as they were already in the process of developing a program to train dogs for the detection of human blood in the Paraíba Valley.

In 2019, Officer Oliveira began preparing Maní for his new role as the first stray dog to join the K-9 unit. During a training session, he encountered skepticism from a pair of police officers who observed him burying a blood sample underground.

Despite explaining that he was training the dog to assist homicide detectives and forensic experts, their doubts persisted.

However, their skepticism was dispelled when Officer Oliveira called Maní over, and the dog successfully located the hidden blood sample, reports Ceres Post.

"It made our work a lot easier, but there is also a side to it that ends up being very personal, which I think everyone at some point in their childhood has wanted to work with a dog, have a service dog," Oliveria explained.

"And being able to have a dog and work with them helping as a partner, it seems like a movie story, really fun, I am very grateful for that."

Despite facing initial skepticism, Officer Oliveira persisted in assuring his commanding officers at the local police station that Maní was on the path to becoming an invaluable asset in future criminal investigations.

His dedication and the evident bond between him and Maní helped overcome any doubts or reservations.

The close bond between Officer Oliveira and Maní has proven crucial in overcoming the challenges they encountered along the way. Any rough patches they faced were swiftly resolved through their strong relationship and understanding of each other.

In the near future, their union will be further strengthened with the addition of one-year-old Savana, who is currently undergoing her own training program.

Officer Oliveira rescued Savana after discovering her beaten and dehydrated on the side of a road. Over time, he has developed a deep attachment to Savana as well.

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