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Dogs join Snail Eradication Program in Dade

May 23, 2014

Canines are expected to expedite giant African land snail eradication efforts

DogGraduationTwo22May14

Raider, a proud graduate.

Two specially trained dog teams have joined the force that is working toward eradication of the giant African land snail (GALS) from Miami-Dade County. The dogs are trained to detect the GALS’s scent–their skills enable them to distinguish GALS from other snail species–and can detect GALS the human eye will miss. The dogs will primarily be used in areas where GALS have been found in the past, but where the snail population numbers are very low.

 

The two dog handler teams received ten weeks of training, four of them at the USDA training facility in Noonan, Ga., and six weeks of on-the-job training in Miami. Their achievement of certification was celebrated in a graduation ceremony May 22 at the USDA ARS facility in Miami, which is also the location of the GALS Eradication Program headquarters and where the dogs are kenneled.

Team members are Omar Garcia and his dog, Raider, and Larry Bynum and his dog, Bear.

DogGraduationOne22May14

New detector dog teams celebrate certification. From left: Michael Sabato, Omar Garcia with Raider, Bryan Benson, Jodi Daugherty (USDA), Larry Bynum with Bear.

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One Response to “Dogs join Snail Eradication Program in Dade”


  1. […] Black labs Raider and Bear and their handlers were sniffing out giant African land snails in Miami this week. The dogs are trained to detect the GALS’s scent–their skills enable them to distinguish GALS from other snail species–and can detect GALS the human eye will miss. The dogs are mainly used in areas where GALS have been found in the past, but where the snail population numbers are very low. More here. […]


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