Meet the police canine sniffing out COVID-19 at Massachusetts colleges

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When Huntah and Duke aren’t busy taking part in catch, the 2 canine are normally detecting the presence of COVID-19 of their neighborhood. In the previous 12 months, the 14-month-old Labrador retrievers have labored at 15 totally different colleges in Massachusetts.

“They love to work,” Jonathan Darling, Bristol County Sheriff’s public info officer, instructed CBS News Wednesday. “And then when they’re not working, they just want to give you kisses and we love it. They’re so cute.”

Darling mentioned the police division reached out to the Forensic Center at Florida International University final 12 months relating to an rising research on canine that may detect COVID-19 odors. Pulling from analysis relationship again to 1993, researchers on the faculty skilled canine to determine totally different odor traits of issues like fungi and viruses. 

The research discovered canine to be greater than 90% dependable in detecting COVID-19 odors, with a really low false positivity fee. So, FIU despatched the skilled canine to work on the varsity’s campus and at state emergency operations. They even screened on the Miami International Airport.

Last 12 months, Duke and Huntah had been enrolled within the faculty’s coaching program, the place they practiced with face masks worn by folks with COVID-19, Darling mentioned. When the 2 graduated in July, they turned the primary regulation enforcement K9s within the nation skilled to detect the virus. 

Since graduating, the 2 sibling pups have labored in three totally different faculty districts, police stations, a neighborhood well being division, city halls and workplace buildings. 

The canine are skilled to sit down down in entrance of an space the place a COVID-19 odor is detected. The canine will then alert their handler in order that they will mark the realm as one to give attention to for cleansing. Darling mentioned the canine aren’t used instead of COVID-19 testing. 

Duke and Huntah additionally carry pleasure to the neighborhood, Darling mentioned.

“The kids in the hallway just love seeing the dogs and the teachers love to see them and we just bring smiles to people’s faces,” he mentioned. “So in addition to helping keep everybody safe against COVID, if you can bring a smile to somebody’s face, it’s totally worth it.”

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