Cookie use on MRCVSonline
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive all cookies.
If you would like to forward this story on to a friend, simply fill in the form below and click send.

Your friend's email:
Your email:
Your name:
Send Cancel

Staffy rehomed as prison search dog
Cookie is in training with HMP Six Counties Search Team.

Cookie becomes first of her breed to take on such an important job 

A Staffordshire bull terrier has been given a new lease of life helping to detect drugs that are prevalent in the prison system.

One-year-old Cookie spent more than 50 days at Battersea Dogs and Cats Home before HMP Six Counties Search Team decided to take her on. With her high energy levels and inquisitive nature, she is now in training and is the first of her breed to take on such an important job.

While at Battersea, it was Cookie’s exceptional agility skills and love for games that gave rise to the idea she could make an exceptional working dog. Armed with a tennis ball - Cookie’s favourite toy - Battersea’s working dogs manager Jeff Moore set to work on basic training.

Some of this training was shown on Wednesday’s episode of Paul O’ Grady’s: For the Love of Dogs, where Cookie could be seen sniffing out bits of tennis ball hidden in rooms and vehicles.

“From her first session, Cookie showed great potential, bearing in mind she’d never done this type of sniffer training beforehand, so we were really hopeful that she’d be able to find a working home that would be well suited to her needs,” explained Jeff. “She’s very sociable, clever and a very high energy dog and I knew in the right setting she could channel all that into doing something great.”

Battersea was delighted when HMP Six Counties Search Team decided to adopt Cookie and for the past 12 weeks, she has been learning the ropes with head trainer, Mel Barker.

“Cookie is currently still in training as it takes months to train up a dog ready for work, but she is doing really well,” said Mel. “She has been training in areas that will assist in reaching her potential and will be fully assessed. Hopefully, she will continue to develop and become an operational search dog.”

Jeff added that Cookie is a prime example of how Staffordshire bull terriers should never be judged on their looks alone.

“Cookie is smart and loves the mental and physical stimulation of playing search games and the interaction of working with the trainers,” he said. “We hope that Cookie will pave the way for many other Staffies to become successful search dogs.”

Image (C) Battersea Dogs and Cats Home.

Become a member or log in to add this story to your CPD history

ZSL London Zoo shares animal X-rays

News Story 1
 A selection of X-ray images showing the inner workings of frogs, turtles, snakes and geckos have been shared by veterinary surgeons at ZSL London Zoo.

Taken as part of a routine health check, the images have been shared as part of ‘Vets in Action’ week - a hand’s on role-playing experience for children that explores the life of a zoo vet.

ZSL London Zoo veterinary nurse Heather Mackintosh said: “It’s great to be able to share the work that goes on behind the scenes at the Zoo to keep our residents in tip-top condition – and our visitors are always amazed to find out more about their favourite animals.” 

Click here for more...
News Shorts
Vets in developing nations given free access to BSAVA’s online library

BSAVA has teamed up with the WSAVA, the WSAVA Foundation and FECAVA to offer vets in developing nations free access to its online library.

The Association’s ‘Foundation Collection’ is comprised of more than 70 hours of articles, lectures and book chapters covering topics such as basic handling skills, working on a budget and emergency triage. Some of the countries set to benefit include Albania, Georgia, Sri Lanka, Kenya, Nigeria, Uganda and Tanzania.

Nicolette Hayward, of BSAVA International Affairs Committee said: “Our mission is to promote excellence in small animal practice through education and science, so we are delighted to work with WSAVA, the WSAVA Foundation and FECAVA to share these high-quality resources to the veterinary profession in low and middle-income countries.”