Air­port dogs re­tire for Xmas

Central Otago Mirror - - YOUR PAPER, YOUR PLACE - STAFF RE­PORTER

Two of Queen­stown Air­port’s best known em­ploy­ees are wav­ing a paw good­bye to il­lus­tri­ous ca­reers and head­ing to their ‘fur­ever’ home for Christ­mas.

Avsec Ex­plo­sive De­tec­tor Dogs EDD, Bruce, 8, and Archie, 9, are be­ing re­tired from their work at Avsec Queen­stown. New homes with fam­i­lies within the Queen­stown Air­port com­mu­nity have been found from a long list of ea­ger new own­ers.

Bruce came to Queen­stown last year with Sergeant Bryn Thomas to set up QAC’s dog unit af­ter a ca­reer at all other ma­jor air­ports in New Zealand.

The dog was a key player in a re­cent bomb scare at the air­port and was charged with search­ing the ter­mi­nal and land side ar­eas.

Archie ar­rived in Queen­stown in Au­gust 2015 with his han­dler Andy Buchanan.

Their job has been to sniff for ex­plo­sives and ex­plo­sive ma­te­ri­als, not drugs or food.

They stay with their han­dlers at home each night, un­like the other dogs who stay in sani­tised lodg­ings to en­sure their senses stay clean.

There are now five dogs in the unit at Queen­stown Air­port, with new dogs iden­ti­fied through a puppy devel­op­ment programme.

Thomas has al­ready taken on a new side-kick, a two year old long haired Bor­der Col­lie called Kane, and Buchanan has Toby, a Ger­man short haired Pointer/ Labrador.

SUP­PLIED

Han­dlers Andy Buchanan and Bryn Thomas with Avsec de­tec­tor dogs Archie and Bruce at Queen­stown Air­port.

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