IN the ongoing battle against dog fouling, council is to employ the services of two former police sniffer dogs, which were previously used to detect shipments of drugs.
The dogs, both Bloodhounds, have been drafted in from Rosslare in Co Wexford, where they have worked at the harbour with their gardai handlers for the past two years, attempting to intercept illicit quantities of drugs being smuggled into the Republic.
The Bloodhound has the most olfactory sensors of any breed, with some 300 million scent receptors. They can be used as both ground and air scent tracking dogs and their sensitive noses are used by police departments the world over.
Speaking this week after purchasing the dogs, a spokesperson for Strabane District and Derry City Council said the new additions will become valuable additions to the local authority team.
“The idea is that the two Bloodhounds will pick up the scent after a dog owner has permitted their dog to foul in a public place and they will be able to follow that scent back to the owner’s place of residence,” the spokesperson said.
“So far, in tests, the dogs are proving they can follow the scent trails over long distances, which will become an invaluable tool in our continuing bid to combat the scourge of dog fouling.”
The spokesperson also remarked that the calls of the Bloodhounds’ excited yowling can similarly be heard over long distances as they track their quarry.
“The only downside for us so far is that the Bloodhounds themselves are yet to be house trained and there has been the odd accident at council offices,” the spokesperson admitted. “It’s a good thing we’re not getting the place re-carpeted until next week.”
The Bloodhounds are named, ‘April’ and ‘Fool’.