Meet the police dogs sniffing out COVID-19 at Massachusetts schools


When Huntah and Duke aren’t busy enjoying catch, the two dogs are often detecting the presence of COVID-19 of their group. In the previous year, the 14-month-old Labrador retrievers have labored at 15 totally different schools in Massachusetts.

“They love to work,” Jonathan Darling, Bristol County Sheriff’s public info officer, advised 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.”

K9s Huntah and Duke visited Norton Middle School at this time for some Covid-detection work. Thanks to Supt. Baeta and everybody from @NortonSchools and @FIU_Forensics for the assist.

— Bristol County Sheriff’s Office (@BristolSheriff) January 5, 2022

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

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

Last year, Duke and Huntah have been enrolled in the faculty’s coaching program, the place they practiced with face masks worn by individuals with COVID-19, Darling stated. When the two graduated in July, they grew to become the first regulation enforcement K9s in the nation skilled to detect the virus. 

BCSO K9s Huntah and Duke are the first regulation enforcement K9s in the nation skilled to detect COVID. We celebrated at a small commencement ceremony yesterday. Huntah is Capt. Douglas’ accomplice and Duke is paired with Officer Santos. @SheriffHodgson

— Bristol County Sheriff’s Office (@BristolSheriff) July 15, 2021

Since graduating, the two sibling pups have labored in three totally different faculty districts, police stations, an area well being division, city halls and office buildings. 

The dogs are skilled to take a seat 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’ll mark the space as one to give attention to for cleansing. Darling stated the dogs should not used rather than COVID-19 testing. 

Duke and Huntah additionally carry pleasure to the group, Darling stated.

“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 stated. “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.”

Tori B. Powell

Tori B. Powell is a breaking information reporter at CBS News. Reach her at [email protected]


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