Snout to the ground and unleashed, he calmly saunters across a field… on a mission. With every inch of bush and grass that crosses his path, he sniffs incessantly… stopping momentarily, looking around, and sniffing some more as he moves on. He suddenly comes to stop, indicating that the hunt may be indeed over. He digs a little, points his paw toward the hotspot, then sits like a well-behaved dog and looks up at his owner and dog handler, Mette Algreen Nielsen, PhD and Project Leader, Contaminated Soil and Groundwater at Orbicon|WSP, for positive reinforcement. His mission is accomplished.
Meet Louie, WSP’s newest four-legged collaborator and Denmark’s first pollution detection dog. As a member of our Environment team, this beautiful, six-year-old Labrador Retriever may look like your average dog, but after an intensive six-month training this former explosive detection dog is now trained with one specific task in mind: finding the sources of chlorinated solvents that are wasted or improperly disposed of in natural and built environments.