We all love fairy tales. Especially when the stories come true. Meet Seth, a typical Cinderella story as he went from being a sweet shelter pup to a valuable wildlife detection dog. Because of his incredible focus, attention and perseverance, especially when it came to tennis balls, Seth was chosen by his handler to do conservation work. Recently this area of environmental studies has increased the number of canine helpers being used to help conduct research, especially when it comes to field work. When Allison Bidlack, Ph.D. ‘07, learned that others had made the switch from human to canine assistants, she knew it was time to find her own wildlife detection friend to help her search for animal deposits. And that’s when her and Seth found one another and he became her adopted companion.

One of the advantages to having a furry assistant is that – whereas humans rely on what they see – dogs use their keen sniffing abilities to detect and distinguish various droppings. In the name of research, animals can be incredibly effective due to their specific skill sets, as well as each dog’s particular strengths and weaknesses. We just love that Bidlack and many of her colleagues are adopting pooches to help them do their own professional work, providing these pets not only with a second chance but also with an important job. Click here to read more about how Allison found Seth, and how others are rescuing dogs to serve important roles.

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