Explosive career change for pups

JPCO Gatwick dogs
JPCO Gatwick dogs

FOUR guide dog pups have changed their careers and started new jobs as explosive detection dogs with Sussex Police at Gatwick airport.

The four dogs, three black Labrador cross Golden Retrievers, and one black Labrador were bred by The Guide Dogs for the Blind Association - but it was felt they were more suited to careers as police dogs.

Becks, Ernie, Paddy and Zara qualified as Explosive Dogs on Thursday March 8 and will now join the security team at Gatwick Airport. Kirsten Godden the re-homing officer at Leamington Guide Dogs said: “Guide dogs need particular characteristics to help blind and partially sighted people get out and about on their own. Becks, Zara, Ernie and Paddy are lovely dogs, but all have traits that mean they aren’t quite suited to careers as guide dogs. The four dogs like using their noses to search for tennis balls, so we thought they would make good police dogs. We often work with other organisations in this way and are sure that they will have a long and happy future with Sussex Police.”

Inspector Di Lewis of Sussex Police’s Dog Unit said: “Since joining us the dogs have all done really well and we are very grateful to Guide Dogs for the Blind Association for introducing us to these dogs. They will be working closely with our firearms unit at Gatwick Airport to help sniff out explosives. Using dogs in this way allows us to search a large volume of people in an effective and unintrusive way.”

The four dogs will be joining fellow ex-guide dog Yogi who works as a drugs, cash and firearms dog. They form part of the essential security squad responsible for protecting the public at all times and they will be on duty during Olympic Games this July.