New detection dog joins B.C.’s search for invasive mussels

Sgt. Cynthia Mann with Major.
Sgt. Cynthia Mann with Major. B.C. Conservation Officer Service

B.C. has a new detective and this time it’s a 15-month-old German shepherd.

K9 Major may have a goofball personality but he takes his detection job seriously. Primarily from late March to October, Major will be searching for invasive zebra and quagga mussels on boats travelling through or into the province.

A dog of many talents, Major can also find shell casings, poached animals or illegal firearms hidden inside vehicles during hunting season.

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Major’s partner, Nelson-based Sgt. Cynthia Mann, said the German shepherd is rewarded with his toy for his hard work.

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“He just goes nuts when he makes a find,” said Mann, who is with him all the time but keeps him in a crate at night.

“He’s not my pet and that’s something as a handler you have to really keep in mind. We have a great time together and he gets a lot of affection, but he is a working dog.”

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Major has been on the job since early December, joining the B.C. Conservation Officer Service’s only other detection dog, Kilo, who is based in Kelowna.

The two K9s will be at 12 watercraft inspection stations that are set up at key points throughout the province starting in early April.

Any suspected invasive mussels should be disclosed to the report all poachers and polluters (RAPP) line at 1-877-952-7277.

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