Mindy is now an Operational Explosive Detector Dog working in Queenstown Airport.Only one in 80 dogs is selected to be an Explosive Detector Dog and Paige is one of those dogs.Grace now works as an Operational Explosive Detector Dog in Auckland International Airport.SPCA dog manager Anna Robertson (left) saw something in Rocco. Now he is in Wellington preparing for training to sniff out cellphones and tobacco illicitly smuggled into prison cells. Here he is seen being handed to a Corrections officer.
MOST dogs are destined to be backyard pets and some are destined for the pound in the hope someone will see value in them.
Some dogs are simply superheroes waiting for their calling. And the Invercargill Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) are howling with delight.
Why? Four of their canines – Rocco, Paige, Grace and Mindy – are such heroes.
One owner surrendered Rocco to the SPCA because they could not handle his boisterous ways. “We saw this nature in him straight away and started his seek training immediately,” SPCA dog manager Anna Robertson said.
It was not long before he was whisked off for training to seek cellphones and tobacco in the country’s prisons. He is in Wellington getting to know his new handler and awaiting their training.
Paige was originally from the Invercargill City Council Animal Care Facility and the SPCA were tasked with finding her a new home.
“We noticed her high drive and crazy puppy attitude and decided to see where we could get her employment. She has been training at Queenstown Airport now for the past three to four months and is due to go on an Explosive Detector Dog course in April. She is doing exceptionally well for a 6-month-old pup and is proving shelter dogs do have what it takes because only one in every 80 dogs is selected for this career.”
At five weeks old Grace was wild compared to her siblings when they were brought into the SPCA.
“She is now an Operational Explosive Detector Dog working at Auckland Airport. She passed her training with flying colours in 2018 and is now working with the best of them. Grace’s temperament suits this role so well that we knew she would be a star.”
Then there is Mindy. “Mindy was a bit like Rocco, she was not showing any signs of wanting to be a backyard pet. Mindy’s brain worked at a hundred miles per hour and she was not satisfied until she found what she was looking for.”
Mindy is an Operational Explosive Detector Dog at Queenstown Airport along with Paige. “Mindy was our first to set the sights high for all Southland shelter dogs and as proven here she is definitely not the last.”