tigre

Tigre has never met a stranger -- his world is simply full of friends he hasn’t met yet. He is incredibly people- and dog-social, and is always ready to train, work, or play. He came to us from our friends at Paws Assisting Veterans, who recognized that Tigre had the smarts to be a service dog, but way too much drive. We’re not sure how Tigre feels about cats in his daily life, but in the field, they’re his business. He now lives in Costa Rica, where he and his handler detect samples and collect conservation data for Panthera, a global conservation organization dedicated exclusively to the protection of wild cats. Tigre is trained on 6 different feline species: jaguar and puma, the weasel-like jaguarundi, sleek ocelot, tree-dwelling margay, and the little oncilla, which is no bigger than a housecat. Tigre loves his job, and works very quickly: once he is in a “scent cone” he locates the source with lightning speed.

Wicket had been waiting at the shelter for six months. But nobody wanted a large black dog who barked incessantly while bounding off the walls of her kennel. WD4C’s Aimee Hurt held a tennis ball through the kennel bars. Wicket was captivated; her eyes never left the ball. Amy told a shelter worker that she wanted to take Wicket home. “That one?!” the woman asked, incredulous. “But, that one’s crazy!”

Turns out Wicket was the right kind of crazy for us. She completed her training blindingly fast, and was working in Yellowstone Park just a few months later, searching for wolf and grizzly bear scat. She has since worked in 14 states and 7 countries, learned to detect 26 species of plants, animals, and scats, and has become one of the most experienced detection dogs in the world.

tigre

Tigre and his handler  follow jaguar tracks along a Costa Rican beach.