Bomb-sniffing is so yesterday...

2010-04-20 22:37

Pretoria - Sniffing out bombs and landmines in war-torn countries is the last thing 11 dogs, belonging to Minetech outside Pretoria, want to do.
They just want to play.

These dogs and four of their "colleagues" are ready for retirement after all the hard work over the course of their long careers. And that's why Minetech wants to find loving homes for them.

Talitha Etsebeth, general manager of the dog school at Minetech, said on Tuesday it's not right to keep these dogs in cages, when they could rather be running around in someone's back yard. In addition to that, the staff at Minetech don't have enough time to give each individual dog enough attention.

No more work, just play

Goldie, 5, and Daja, 5, are Malinois dogs, Hyco, 4, a German Shepherd and Apollo, 4, a Border collie, all sniffed out explosives in Iraq.

After a few years in the field, Apollo started suffering from post-traumatic stress. Goldie, Daja and Hyco have also just reached a point where they don't want to work anymore.

The rest of their friends, Herschey, 2, Isaac, 1, Nicky, 2, and Carmen, 1 - all Malinois dogs - and Austin, 2, Geisha, 3, Twig, 3, Dinx, 1, and Dee, 1 - all Springer spaniels - were never chosen for bomb sniffing.

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According to Etsebeth, some of them were used as breeding dogs but the rest just want to play.

They can't concentrate long enough to do the work of sniffing out mines and explosives properly.

"They're pets and all they want to do is play with you and lick you," said Etsebeth.

"They're too gentle, and they don't have the drive to do this work. These are shy dogs who will die of fright if a bomb was to explode behind them."

Etsebeth said people can apply to adopt one of the dogs. Applicants' lifestyle and the size of their property will be looked at before a decision is made.