• salifemag

Step aside Paw Patrol; SA's very own Mighty Pup is taking poachers to task, even during lockdown.



Sniffing out the bad guys since 2018, Havoc, Africa’s first pangolin detection dog is proudly fuelled by Hill’s Pet Nutrition. Three-year-old GSD/Malinois Havoc forms an integral part of the African Pangolin Working Group in the K9 pangolin counter-poaching unit.

Stopping poachers in their tracks is no easy feat. Known as the ‘wise old man’ of the African bush, pangolins are said to be a symbol of good luck and the 'bringer of rain.’ Sadly, this enigmatic creature, holding the secret of 85 million years of evolution, is currently the most poached mammal on the planet, and it takes a strong skill set, many hours of training and tough determination for the front-line battle.

Since puppyhood Havoc has been socialised and trained to become a working dog. He has been trained in detection, tracking and bite work and has been specialising in pangolin detection since 2018.

Preparing Havoc for operating under challenging circumstances – and keeping him in top shape – requires a comprehensive plan for his care, with what he eats contributing to his stamina and boosting his keen sense of smell. “A food that works with the pet’s biology is vital for dogs training at Havoc’s level, as they can expend up to four times as much energy as usual when they’re on the job – panting, excitement, stress and the need to cover long distances at speed, burn huge amounts of calories,” explains Hill’s Pet Nutrition’s veterinary advisor, Dr. Guy Fyvie. 

Havoc and his team operate under incredibly dangerous and challenging circumstances and are producing impactful results in the anti-poaching battle.

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©2019 by SA Life Magazine.