Lily — Law Enforcement and Detection

Location: Missoula, Montana

By the time Lily was 3 years old, she had 5 different homes – probably because she is always moving. She barks, wags, paces, and is always carrying something in her mouth. Her eyes dilate at the sight of a ball and she never tires of playing fetch.

When she was at the shelter for the 5th time, a rescue recognized Lily’s potential as a working dog. They started training her for drug detection. But budget cuts left the director worried that Lily would start her career, only to lose it — and her 6th home. The rescue connected Lily with Working Dogs for Conservation in 2011.

Lily was a handful for me, an experienced detection dog handler – I thought I’d made a horrible mistake. But Lily proved me wrong – she is now trained to detect 20 different scents for conservation projects around the world, from Arctic Alaska where she monitored brown bears to Cameroon where she helped find the world’s most endangered gorillas.

Lily recently retired from long-mileage field work at almost 13-years old.

(The attached photo shows Lily working at a mussel inspection station.)

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