Biography

Vi Hummel Shaffer, a 27 year veteran K9 Handler in Search and Rescue and Recovery, is also an Instructor, Speaker, Author, Court-qualified subject matter expert witness and Law Enforcement Consultant, specializing in K9 Human Remains Detection. She has received training from world-renowned experts in scent detection dogs, forensics and homicide investigations. Her extensive K9 search experience with almost every branch of law enforcement in the United States consists of all types of circumstances and situations in searching for human remains and includes working in the field with legend the late Dr. Clyde Snow.

Vi is an Associate Instructor with Texas Forensic Associates; a Life Member and although a civilian, a previous five-year Executive Board Member of the Homicide Investigators of Texas and has over 550 continuing education hours in advanced homicide investigation through the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement. She was a member of the FBI- Southeast Texas Evidence/Crime Scene Working Group for four years; and a member of the National Volunteer Advisory Board/University of North Texas Forensic Services Unit – Center for Human Identification from 2006 – 2014. Vi was also a logistics specialist with the federal Disaster Mortuary Operational Response Team (DMORT) for 19 years, a two-term board member of DMORT Region 6 in addition to being an “unofficial” and then official DMORT Mass Fatality K9 Unit. In 2002, she was appointed the National Chair of the federal “Mass Fatality K9 Standards and Requirements Committee” by the Director of the United States Department of Health and Human Services/National Disaster Medical Systems/Office of Emergency Preparedness. Vi and her first K9 “Mercy” were recognized by the federal government as the First Mass Fatality K9 Team in the United States and by way of commendation from the Division of Emergency Management -Texas Department of Public Safety, Mercy was regarded as “The first nationally recognized Forensic Cadaver K-9.” In addition to assisting in hundreds of homicide searches for agencies across the state of Texas and beyond, Vi has been deployed to seven Mass Fatality Incidents including, the Shuttle Columbia Disaster and, at the request of the FBI, a member of “Operation Noble Eagle” the K9 Victim Recovery Team at the Pentagon in the aftermath of 9-11-01.
The writer of many articles, a contributing author to the book “Ready to Serve – Ready to Save, Strategies of Real Life Search and Rescue Missions,” and acknowledged in Susan Bulanda’s book “Ready,” Vi has now authored her own book “K9 Teams: Beyond the Basics in Search and Rescue and Recovery.”