A DOG who was taken into a Hertfordshire animal shelter as a stray is embarking on a new career – at the London 2012 Olympics.
Springer spaniel Grouse, who was rescued by Kimpton Blue Cross, will work as an explosive detection dog at the Games, which officially start tonight (Friday).
The 14-month-old was taken into the charity’s re-homing centre last year as a stray, where staff were quickly impressed with his intelligence and inquisitive nature.
He was introduced to an academy and, after an initial assessment, began a demanding training course before passing his tests with the highest grades.
Lynda Campbell, Kimpton Blue Cross centre manager, said: “We were so proud to hear that Grouse had qualified.
“When he arrived at the centre, it was clear that he was a very intelligent dog who needed new challenges, so I’m sure he’ll thrive in his new role.
“Many animals come to Blue Cross looking for a second chance in life, so it is always wonderful when they go on to realise their full potential.”
Grouse trained in South Wales at the Malpeet K9 Academy.
Managing director Simon Mallin said: “I was delighted when Blue Cross contacted us. After only a few minutes of playing with Grouse, I knew he had exactly what I was looking for.
“All the training is based on play reward with a tennis ball or such like, so as far as the dogs are concerned every time they go to work it’s yet another fun game with or mum or dad. These dogs do an incredible job helping to keep us safe.”