Meet special canines, Huntah and Duke. When they aren't spending time with their families, playing fetch, or going for walks, these incredible pups spend their days doing COVID-19 detection work in their local communities. When Big Barker heard about these incredible pups, we knew we had to reach out!
Bristol County Sheriff's Department K9s Huntah and Duke are the first law enforcement canines in the country that are trained to detect COVID. Huntah was paired with Captain Douglas' partner and Duke was paired with Officer Santos.
Last year, the police department reached out to the Forensic Center at Florida International University regarding an emerging study showing preliminary results that dogs could in fact detect COVID-19 odors. These were the perfect pups to take this on! So how did Duke and Huntah prepare for this big task? They were enrolled in the school's training program, where they practiced with face masks worn by people with COVID-19, Darling said.
When Duke and Huntah graduated last year, they officially became the first law enforcement K9's in the country that were trained to detect the virus. So exactly how does this work? Well, the dogs are trained to sit down in front of areas where the odor of COVID-19 is detected. This alerts their handlers that this specific area needs to be a focus for cleaning. Initial studies show that the dogs are more than 90% in detecting odors, with a very low false positivity rate. Wow!
These amazing pups also bring so much joy to their community. In the schools, students and teachers love seeing the dogs. Not only are they helping to keep everyone safe, they are putting smiles on someone's face every day they are there.
After a long day of work, these pups deserve the very best bed to come home to! Big Barker sent each of these K9's and handlers their own beds so they had a comfy place to lay at the end of each day. Duke received the Khaki bed and Huntah received the Gray bed!
We are happy to report both of these pups seem to be adjusting to their new beds well! Darling tells us "Capt. Douglas said it was an instant hit with Huntah by the way. He said she loves it." Thank you Huntah and Duke for everything you are doing to keep your community safe! We are so proud of you!
See the pups in action: