COVID-19 sniffing dogs being deployed in Massachusetts
Starting today, a Massachusetts county will be turning to dogs to help fight COVID-19.
The Bristol County Sheriff’s office is adding a team of COVID-19 sniffing dogs to its force, a first for the country, CBS 4 WBZ reports.
The K-9s have been specifically trained to detect the coronavirus, which has a certain scent, in a way that mirrors how they sniff out drugs or bombs, the outlet notes.
“It’s best to think of it as a decontamination tool,” Bristol County Capt. Paul Douglas told WBZ. “The dogs can detect the COVID odor on a counter or table if it was recently touched by a COVID-positive individual, or even detect the odor on a tissue used by someone with COVID.”
The two dogs, Huntah and Duke, graduated from their training program, developed by Florida International University’s International Forensic Research Institute, on Wednesday.
BCSO K9s Huntah and Duke are the first law enforcement K9s in the country trained to detect COVID. We celebrated at a small graduation ceremony yesterday. Huntah is Capt. Douglas’ partner and Duke is paired with Officer Santos. @SheriffHodgson pic.twitter.com/fohQMK5mnW
— Bristol County Sheriff’s Office (@BristolSheriff) July 15, 2021
The two nine-month-old labs will be deployed for detection at public facilities including schools, town buildings, nursing homes and more.
“Our new COVID-19 detection program is one way the people of Bristol County can stay ahead of the curve,” Bristol Count Sheriff Thomas Hodgson said.