Stray dogs in UP Diliman undergo training to become rescue, COVID-19 sniffing dogs

GMA News – Published June 10, 2021 9:36pm

Stray dogs in the University of the Philippines Diliman are being trained to become rescue and COVID-19 sniffing dogs.

In Mark Salazar’s report on “24 Oras,” Thursday, UP Sagip K9 project manager Prof. Khrysta Rara said that dogs in UP have been feeling down since the pandemic started.

“The students, who are their friends, are not around so apart from them getting skinnier because of lack of food, they became depressed,” she said in a mix of English and Filipino.

This is why Rara started the project to train the dogs in January. The animals were grouped together to undergo courses that will earn them a diploma as rescue dogs.

They train dogs’ noses to get used to human scent so they can use it in rescue and retrieval operations. They are also taught to practice their agility.

Apart from the dogs, their handlers are also being trained so the two can have a special bond.

Soon, the dogs will also be trained to identify COVID-19 with the help of an expert.

According to dog trainer Onayd Lumbao, these natives dogs are not at all inferior to pedigree dogs and they can do the same things. They are also more used to the climate in the country compared to foreign breeds.

In December, researchers found that trained dogs can identify people with COVID-19.

—Franchesca Viernes/MGP, GMA News


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