This week in the Scoop, we meet a Border Collie who could give Tom Cruise a run for his money and a rescue Yorkshire Terrier who’s a star of the stage. We’ve also got a quick update from the RSPCA on the ongoing fight against illegal puppy trading. Start your engines, it’s almost time for liftoff!
K-9 Piper is Top Dog
Meet the dog with the coolest job in the world. K9 Piper is a 8-year-old Border Collie and he has every pups’ dream job. He works in a Michigan Airport and scares away pests to clear the runways for takeoff and landing.
It’s not just running up and down runways looking the business in his special canine ear protectors and goggles, though. Piper is a crucial part of the safety team. He’s specially trained to respond to reports of wildlife and pests in different locations around the airport, so that means lots of highly targeted herding. Border Collies, being high-energy and extraordinarily intelligent, are naturally suited to this sort of work. He’s one of a kind at his airport in Michigan at least, there’s a handful of Wildlife Control K-9 across the United States.
Pipes is specially trained to respond to commands, which are suitably Top-Gun-esque – his superior officers (presumably human) identify the number of bogeys and then K-9 Piper is cleared from the control tower: “Ops 1, Fox 3, fur missile away!”. That’s not all! K-9 Piper conducts perimeter checks, (he can identify new holes from old ones) and keeps rodents at bay – which in turn reduces the chances of larger wildlife hunting them in the airport. Apparently, the airport staff and visitors love having him around, they say he’s a “really cool dude”.
When he’s not working, Pipes enjoys similar activities to all other dogs – taking helicopter rides and playing on the beach or with gigantic sticks. So, he’s pretty much the canine version of Tom Cruise.
Take a bow-wow
Ted, a Yorkshire Terrier, is a lucky rescue pup who’s become a star of the stage.
His story, like many rescue dogs, starts with a very sad chapter. He arrived at Manchester Dogs Home underweight after having been neglected and becoming a stray at only one year old. Our dog loving minds boggle! He’s now been adopted by Joanne Burrow – a member of staff a the rescue centre in Manchester.
This week, he took his first steps onto the prestigious stage of the Manchester Opera House – starring as La Boheme character Musetta’s dog. (Joanne is playing the role of Musetta!) The opera, which tells the story of penniless writer Rodolfo, seems a perfect fit for Ted, who’s had first-hand experience of being down and out. Thankfully, though, he’s back to full health, and isn’t even scared of the lights and noise of the opera – and he doesn’t seem to get stage fright either!
Puppy trade laws: RSPCA update
Here’s a quick update on the ongoing government review of laws the puppy trade.The UK government is currently discussing how best to tackle the growing problem of illegal puppy farming and trading. The RSPCA is one of the many charities who help to not only rescue and rehabilitate dogs, but also investigate and prosecute animal cruelty cases.
Some MPs are currently proposing to curtail the RSPCA’s prosecution work – meaning that they would no longer be able to press charges and carry out investigations in cases of animal cruelty, a role the charity has been fully involved in for 200 years and has a 92% success rate in – higher than the Crown Prosecution Service. You can read the full statement by the RSPCA top dog Jeremy Cooper here.
If you’d like to support the ongoing work of the RSPCA in exposing cruel breeding practices, please consider signing this petition to stop the puppy trade.