Council’s rodent detection team has gotten a fluffy new member, with newest pup recruit Molly and her handler Bob joining the city’s elite squad.
Chair of City Standards Committee Councillor Kim Marx said Molly joins a long line of “rat dogs” who have been sniffing out rodents in Brisbane for more than 100 years.
“It gives me great pleasure to introduce little Molly, the latest furry, four-legged officer to join the ranks of Council,” Cr Marx said.
“Molly is very playful and loves a cuddle but is also highly enthusiastic and already showing signs that she’s up to the challenge of ferreting out rats in Brisbane.
“At only 5 months old, Molly is getting into a routine of travelling with her handler to work and training to help mould her into an elite rodent detection dog.
“For the next 12 months Molly will undergo familiarisation training to identify the rodent scents and exposure practice in a controlled environment to reinforce burrowing skills and instinct training.
“She joins Rosie, who is entering her 8th month of training since joining the team last year, and experienced rodent detection dog Holly.”
Brisbane was an ideal breeding ground for rodents in the early 1900s due to chicken sheds, unprotected water, open drains, accessibility of food in towns and wharves, and out-house toilets.
Cr Marx said while Brisbane is seeing significantly fewer rats these days, our rodent detection team still has a vital role to play in the community.
“Our rodent detection dogs visited up to 601 homes, schools, business and parks in the last year, helping residents and business owners alike identify any pesky rodents that might have taken up residence,” she said.
Cr Marx said the welfare of the dogs is a top priority, and each animal is selected for their breed’s special abilities.
“They don’t catch or harm the rodents, their role is to detect a rat nest and once found our handlers can provide advice for property owners to minimise the attractiveness of their house or building, and next steps.
“We don’t allow them to enter dangerous areas like roofs or where there could be snakes, and at the end of the working day they go home with their handler who they’ve formed a close bond with.
“All our rodent dogs are female due to their temperament, and we only use fox terriers for their highly sensitive noses and intelligence.
“When the rodent dogs eventually finish their working career with Council, they enjoy a happy retirement with their handler.”
For more information or to book an inspection call Council on 07 3403 8888 or visit www.brisbane.qld.gov.au.
To keep up to date with what’s happening in Brisbane, visit www.adrianschrinner.com.au/brisbane-news.