TILTON, Ill. (WCIA) — Officers say there is a benefit to having K9s assist them in enforcing the law, and authorities in Pennsylvania saw that earlier this week.

A K9 officer named Yoda helped put an end to a manhunt west of Philadelphia. Danelo Cavalcante escaped custody on Aug. 31 and spent two weeks on the run before finally being caught on Wednesday. Yoda helped subdue Cavalcante as officers approached to finally bring him back into custody.

But training K9s is more than just chasing people down, and far more than just sit and stay commands that any dog can be trained to obey. Police K9s are handpicked for their drive.

They are literally the underdog of the department, helping their partners find drugs, weapons and catch suspects.

“It’s another officer that works the street and can do things that the human officers can’t do: locate narcotics or explosives that are hidden somewhere,” said Tony Piatt, the owner of Mid-Pro K9 in Tilton

But they wouldn’t be able to get any of that done if it wasn’t for trainers like Piatt.

“Like for counties that may not have an officer or a backup close, they have the K9 in the back of the vehicle that can be there as a backup if they need to do something like that,” Piatt said.

Piatt has been training dog since 1999. He said more goes into it than people may think and these dogs can do more than people know.

“So if somebody does something, commits a crime, they’re going to have that fear scent and the dog will pick up on the fear scent through its olfactory senses and locate the person,” Piatt County

It was that fear scent that helped authorities in Pennsylvania, though one officer said pulling out K9s on a suspect isn’t their first choice.

But all dogs can’t be officers. Like their human counterparts, they have to make it through training. Theirs is during puppyhood.

“They are just focusing on the drive from puppyhood up until we get them,” said training director Courtney Schleman. “They aren’t taught any obedience or any narcotic training tracking. They just focus on building their toy drive.

While K9 training may be strict, Piatt wishes there were more of them.

“It’d be best if every department were kind of required to have a K9, because of the benefits it has,” Piatt said. “It can get a little expensive over time, because of the price of the dogs, the price of the upkeep, the price of the vehicles and stuff like that. But if every community has a k9, it’s going to benefit.”

Piatt and Schleman said anyone’s pet can go through simple obedience training. But if it has a strong enough drive, it can be trained jsut like a K9.