Hungary’s army finds mission in life for abused canine

BUDAPEST, Hungary (AP) — Hungary’s army has discovered a brand new mission in life for a proficient canine who was rescued from abusive homeowners, recruiting 2-year-old Logan to serve in counterterrorism operations for an elite bomb squad.

The Belgian shepherd is present process intensive coaching as an explosives detection canine for the explosive ordnance disposal and warship regiment of the Hungarian Defense Forces.

At the unit’s garrison on the Danube River within the capital Budapest, Logan receives each day socialization and obedience workouts, and is educated to acknowledge the scent of 25 totally different explosive substances.

“He has already started to learn how to smell explosives in a completely homogeneous environment, and he has also started to learn how to search motor vehicles and ships,” mentioned Logan’s coach, Sgt. 1st Class Balazs Nemeth.

Logan’s new function as a bomb sniffer got here solely after an youth stuffed with hardships. In 2021, animal welfare officers obtained a tip {that a} canine was being abused and held in inhumane situations at a rural residence in northeastern Hungary. During an on-site inspection, the officers discovered Logan confined to a one-meter (3-foot) chain and affected by malnourishment.

Several weeks later, Nemeth, the regiment’s coaching officer, visited the shelter the place Logan was housed and commenced assessing his suitability for turning into an expert bomb sniffer.

“The moment we met him the first impressions were very positive. We saw a well-motivated dog in relatively good condition and we immediately had confidence in him,” Nemeth mentioned.

In an indication on the unit’s garrison, Nemeth opened a case containing two dozen vials of mock explosive supplies like C-4, TNT, ammonium nitrate and others, which Logan is educated to detect.

After concealing a small bundle of explosive in a hidden crevice on one of many regiment’s river boats, Nemeth introduced Logan to the coaching space the place he went instantly to work sniffing for the bundle, which he discovered inside seconds. The canine’s physique tensed as he pointed together with his nostril on the supply of the scent, alerting his handler.

The regiment’s commanding officer, Col. Zsolt Szilagyi, mentioned that the elevated use of improvised explosive gadgets by extremist cells for the reason that flip of the millennium have made it essential to make use of new strategies for detecting potential bombs.

“This was a challenge to which the military had to respond, and one of the best ways to detect these devices is to use explosive detection dogs,” Szilagyi mentioned. “These four-legged comrades have been supporting the activities of our bomb disposal soldiers.”

Logan, he mentioned, will function an inspector of vital websites in Hungary, and might be despatched together with the nation’s army to NATO missions overseas.

While rescued canine typically current challenges in coaching given their typically traumatic backgrounds, Nemeth mentioned he’s assured that Logan will likely be profitable and make a helpful addition to the unit.

“Logan is very valuable because about one out of 10,000 rescued dogs is fit for military service, both medically and psychologically,” he mentioned.

Recruiting rescued canine typically reveals their undiscovered capabilities, and permits for them to discover a new residence the place they will thrive, Szilagyi mentioned.

“There are dogs that have great potential but for some reason they have been pushed to the margins,” he mentioned. “We can give these dogs a new opportunity to be placed in a family, so to speak, where they can live a proper life in loving, competent hands and be useful.”

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