Dogs are our new powerful superheroes in saving the planet with 300 million powers!

by Madonna Watts D'Souza
Dogs are our new powerful superheroes in saving the planet with 300 million powers!

December 15, 2020

Companies in the UK have begun using dogs to detect pipe leakages and hence fix water wastage which has ravished the nations.

Dogs… What is not adorable about these critters? Yes, we do know that they are our best friends, our pooches in crime, in our YouTube recommendations, the paw to making our lives pawsitive (See what we did there?!), etc. But apart from being endearing and committed companions for life, the powers of a dog doesn’t end there.

As sweet as they are, no one else does it better than sniffing out the most sinister objects on Earth. From bombs to drugs to sniffing out criminals, notable examples being Lucca, Treo and Zanjeer. We also know that service dogs are essential and a blessing in the lives of people with special needs.

Dogs can miraculously sniff out diseases like Cancer, Migraines, Narcolepsy, etc. But is that end of their potential? Of course not! You must be wondering what else can dogs do, what if we tell you that dogs can help us in water conservation? Sounds absurd? Well, that is an actual reality.

With 300 million more olfactory receptors than an average human being with 6 million olfactory receptors, the dog’s sense of smell is at least 10,000 times stronger than ours. Looks like 29-years-old Luke Jones unlocked another potential of the dogs.

imagine 1
This Medical Detection Dogs Labrador would sniff COVID-19 samples in the charity’s training room and indicate when the disease is present. @BEXARTS

How was the dogs' new power discovered?

Business CAPE SPC (Canine Assisted Pest Eradication and Water Leakage Detection and Correlation Services) in the UK have started putting into use the sniffing power of dogs to find water leakages in the rural areas.
As of now, the breed is Springer Spaniels. The dogs have been trained to detect scents of Chlorine in chlorinated water and this, in turn, helps the firm fix water leakages.

More than 3 billion litres of water is wasted in England and Wales every single day. Due to this crisis, several companies have resorted and have welcomed ways to save water in the nations.

Jones, who is also the Co-director and handler of CAPE SPC, had his first professional experience with dogs when he joined the Royal Army at the tender age of 18. He worked with military dogs who were responsible for sniffing and detecting bombs buried underground in Afghanistan.

In an interview with EuroNews, he said: “A lot of people think that dogs only work with the police or the military and they only do drugs or explosives, but there are a lot more capabilities out there that dogs can be used for.”
Keeping this in mind, him along with Ross Stephenson, the director of CAPE, set out to carve an innovative path in 2016.

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Detector canine Bello works in a citrus orchard in Texas, searching for citrus greening disease, a bacteria that is spread by a tiny insect that feeds on citrus tress, provided by the United States Department of Agriculture.

Looks like someone was inspired here 🙂

They were additionally inspired by the Water Corporation in Western Australia who had implemented something similar headed over by Steve Austin a dog trainer and a trailblazer for the Canine-Human partnership in preserving water. Austin, a 67-year-old man and an erudite in dogs has experience training all sorts of dogs in different environments.

An environmentalist indeed, Austin had vehemently protected rare animals like Plains-wanderer and green turtle eggs and busting several Wildlife poachers in the nation.

About an invasive weed in Australia Austin said: “I think it all started for me when we were asked to tackle Hawkweed.
Long story short – the dogs found it a metre under the snow.” Looks like CAPE SPC made their mark in the UK and has helped several people realise the incredible potential of dogs.

They managed to save a lot of money for United Utilities, their prime contractor by finding more than 100 damaged pipelines since 2019.

But CAPE isn’t the only company to implement this to help save water. Yorkshire Water is the latest company to implement canines in their mission to fix water pipelines. The company aims to reduce water loss through broken pipes by a staggering 15 per cent in the next five years.

Is the the ultimate end of the power of dogs?

Just like Steve Austin said: “We haven’t even scratched the surface when it comes to using dogs in conservation, not even the surface.” It would one of the best decisions of Humanity to implement the power of nature to help preserve and save nature. The water crisis in the UK is a real thing and not only the UK but globally the world faces a grim future with the abundance of water.

Dr Brian Hare, an evolutionary anthropologist and expert on the working of dogs, affirms: “The scope for dogs is almost limitless – from detecting water leaks to Covid-19. In some cases, they are more accurate and more dependable than technology.”

The way CAPE trains their dogs to help find pipe leakages is a gradual and smart technique. It begins with making the dogs “target” a unit pot of water mixed with Chlorine. After the dogs get it then they help the critters understand that the pot is not just something to just sniff but holds way more meaning than that.

The dogs are then exposed to the chlorinated fumes along with a distraction of several other smells to check if thee dogs get distracted.

“A lot of people think that once the dog’s trained, it’s trained, that it’s like a tool off the shelf. But the dogs need constant monitoring and training,” explains Jones.
This only the beginning for CAPE, the company have recently collaborated with Thames Water, for the large scale use of dogs in helping to conserve water. (Read the full interview here)

The future of animals playing a role in saving the environment

It’s wonderful to see the world wake up to the secret powers of the canines which are maybe under a stranger’s car to stay protected from the harsh sun and bone-rattling cold. It would also be interesting to see how far the relations and co-operation of man and animal lead us.

For now, we have made dogs our allies in saving the environment. Who knows we next get to see a cat scratch out styrofoam from the upper layers of the soils? Or birds flap their wings over potential solid toxins? We have just begun to realise the power of nature and it looks like there is no stopping from here.


Also Read: Rabies: Can the deadly disease be eradicated by India?


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