COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — State officials say Ohio's Division of Wildlife is joining more than 20 states in adopting a wildlife K-9 program.

One wildlife officer from each of Ohio's five wildlife districts will become handlers of K-9s in the program. The dogs are trained to detect hidden wild game and other non-game scents like ginseng and gun powder. They will also have the ability to track people and can be used to find lost hunters and people hunting without permission.

Three K-9s and their wildlife officer handlers will begin a 10-week training academy starting next week. The program will be in line with the Ohio Peace Officer Training Academy standards for law enforcement K-9s in Ohio.

Wildlife officials say the K-9s also will be socialized to participate in conservation programs and youth events.