Louie is the first pollution dog in Denmark. He is specially trained in finding very small amounts of chlorinated solvent. Louie recently got his certificate, and is now ready for new tasks.
“We have worked intensively through almost six months, and Louie reacts on concentrations that are far below the limit value. The concentrations are actually so small that we would not even be able to measure and register them. The dog’s nose is an extremely sensitive measuring device” says Mette Algreen Nielsen who apart from being Louie’s owner works in Orbicon and has a PhD in soil pollution.
The dog tracks the source
Louie is going to help find pollution by quickly and effectively tracking the pollution sources. Today, it’s common to drill several places within an area to localize the pollution, and sometimes it’s almost impossible to find the source, if the drilling is not done in the exact spot, where the pollution source is. Louie is supposed to track the pollution and determine where the drilling will be most successful.
In other cases, pollution can be seen in drinking water, while the source of the pollution is still unknown. In cases like this, Louie will search in larger areas for signs of the pollution source.
Furthermore, Louie is trained to detect if there are toxic gases within a building, e.g. if it is built on a polluted plot. Afterwards it is possible to seal the building, where the toxic gasses enters, and ventilate under the floors, so it is possible to stay in the building without being exposed to the toxic gases.
The chlorinated solvents are toxic whether they are a gas or is found in the drinking water, if they get into a building. The pollution mostly derive from dry cleaners and companies that uses the solvents for degreasing metal materials and is one of the most serious sources of pollution in Denmark.
Louie enjoys tracking the pollution and is always looking forward to new tasks. Most importantly, he does not suffer any harm, because the concentrations are very small, and he is only exposed to them for a very short period of time.
“There is a big potential in using tracker dogs within the pollution field. With the help the dog can give us, I am certain that we will be able to find the pollution source a lot faster and a lot cheaper. Besides, it is a pleasure to work with Louie. We have become really good colleagues,” says Mette Algreen Nielsen
Louie has been trained as a bomb dog, and he and Mette Algreen Nielsen has earlier worked on investigating e.g. cruise ships. However, now he has now been retrained to be able to detect pollution, so he can use the full potential of his sensitive nose. Louie is trained through Danminar, a company specialized in training specialty dogs.