He Washed Out As A Drug-Sniffing Dog, Now He Helps Endangered Animals

Train, a Chesapeake Bay retriever, was a young rescue dog from the Humane Society who got his first break when he was chosen to train to become a drug-detection dog. But it turns out, he was more of a bull in a china shop, so he failed out of narcotics school.

But that’s when conservation biologist Karen DeMatteo found Train. She was looking for dogs to go to Argentina to work on a research project and he was an ideal candidate since he was already trained as a drug-sniffing dog. Now Train helps a research team pinpoint the habitats of endangered animals by sniffing out their poop. It doesn’t sound glamourous, but dogs like to smell poop, so he really likes his gig getting to run around acres of wilderness and find poop from wild animals like jaguars.

The 12-year-old pooch helps the scientists locate the most crucial natural areas for animal conservation so they know which areas to prioritize and protect. "Train was just a machine," DeMatteo says. "We just switched him to use all that energy and search really big areas and find this poop for us. It just makes life really great to get up and work with a dog every day."

Charlie Munson

Charlie Munson

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