Tyke is a 9-year-old sniffer dog at Heathrow airport in the UK.
The Labrador Retriever is set to retire after more than 8 years of service.
He has been named animal of the year!
Tyke has been protecting UK borders since he was rescued from Battersea Dogs Home at the age of 11-months.
he was trained to sniff out illegal wildlife and animal products being smuggled in. He also works with the Border Force officers and the CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species) enforcement team.
His canine career will be recognized at the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) Animal Action Awards ceremony at the House of Lords on October 21.
Tyke’s handler, Border Force assistant officer Samantha Moss said, “Tyke has been a dream to work with.He is such a smart and enthusiastic dog and picked things up very quickly. He has done really well.”
“Despite getting older he still loves the job but we are gradually getting him used to his upcoming retirement when he will be able to relax at home in comfort with me for the rest of his days,” Moss added.
The Lab was originally trained to detect products of animal origin in response to health issues such as foot and mouth disease, and avian flu, and the need to control imports of food.
Tyke was given additional training as a wildlife detector dog to sniff out both live animals and products from endangered species, including mammals, ivory, rhino horn, tortoises, birds, pangolin, caviar, corals, traditional Chinese medicines, feathers and furs.
Tyke has had many successful seizures including ivory, tiger bone plasters, and reptile skin during his career.
“We are delighted to be able to recognise the fantastic achievements of Tyke as he supports the vital work of Border Force in helping stop illegal wildlife trade,” President and CEO of IFAW, AzzedineDownes said.
“Tyke is a very worthy winner of our Animal of the Year Award.”
Tyke will leave his job next year.
Border Force Senior Officer Grant Miller said, “Tyke has protected the UK from both public health risks but also in recent years he has helped fight the illegal wildlife trade.”
“It is a fitting tribute for his years of service that his work is recognized today.”
The awards event will be hosted by Baroness Gale and presented by TV wildlife presenter Bill Oddie.
Image and article source: Get West London