Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Guide Dog Honored

One of Australian Customs' most successful drug detector dogs, Utah, has been recognised for his outstanding service.

In his seven-and-a-half years working with Customs, Utah was responsible for detecting more than 150 kilograms of illicit drugs including cocaine, heroin and MDMA.

At Parliament House in Canberra today, Minister for Home Affairs Bob Debus presented Utah with his award, calling him the $27 million dog.

"The largest haul of drugs that he ever detected was something like 400,000 ecstasy pills, which were worth on the market $27 million," the minister said.

Mr Debus said Utah is possibly the most successful detector dog bred by the Customs Dog Detector Program, which helps protect Australia from prohibited imports such as drugs, firearms and explosives.

In 1993, Customs began a pilot breeding program using labradors purchased from the Guide Dog Association of Australia and leading breeders. The program is now the only source of Customs detector dogs.

Utah will be spending his retirement living with his handler Yencie Fogden in Yass.

Good work guys!

Woof! Woof!

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