By Tristan Harris Thursday 18 October 2012 Updated: 18/10 17:09
A DOG who ended up at Bromsgrove’s Blue Cross has gone onto train to sniff out illegal immigrants and is heading out to France to stop unwanted visitors entering the UK.
Sam, who came to the Catshill centre because his owner was ill and could not look after him, has now joined the UK Border Agency team after training with Wagtail UK.
The company took Sam to the training area, which had various ledges and ramps, and, staff there said ‘he was up for it straight away’.
After a two-week trial to decide which role to give him, he was accepted as a body detection dog.
Blue Cross animal welfare assistant Nicola Halfpenny said: “We felt that Sam would make a good working dog because he loves his toys and likes to be kept constantly busy.
“He needed a job to keep his clever brain working.”
Wagtail UK trainer Rhi Atkin said dogs tracking illegal immigrants had to be unfazed by anything, whether it be vehicles or loud noises.
“We soon realised this was the perfect job for Sam because nothing worries him at all – he’s just a very happy go lucky chap.
“He took to it almost immediately. In fact he was one of our quickest learners.”
Sam has now completed 12 weeks of training and is ready to head for France, where he will be searching for people who are hiding - in fake floors, ceilings and even wheelie bins - in a bid to get to the UK.
Many dogs work for eight years or even longer because they love it so much, but Wagtail UK, which currently has 60 dogs, finds them suitable family homes afterwards.
But that is a long way off for one-year-old Sam, who is just about to embark on his career of a lifetime.
Rhi added: “If there was ever a dog made for this kind of work, it’s Sam.
“He’s bouncing around from 7am because he just wants to get started. He loves his job.”
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