'Puddles' to sniff out invasive species on boats

Roger Harnack

A rescue dog is helping state Department of Fish and Wildlife officers sniff out invasive species on boats and Jet Skis.
“Puddles,” a 2-year-old Jack Russel terrier mix, will use a keen sense of smell to help detect quagga and zebra mussel larvae on boats at mandatory watercraft-inspection stations.
“Invasive mussels can impact our state’s water quality, power and irrigation systems, wildlife and recreation,” Washington Invasive Species Council Executive Coordinator Justin Bush said. “We all need to work together to prevent invasive mussels from changing our way of life and harming resources we value.”
Quagga and zebra mussels can clog piping and mechanical systems of industrial plants, utilities, locks and dams, officials said.
Researchers estimate that invasive species cost industries, businesses and communities more than $5 billion nationwide over 6 years, and the power industry more than $3 billion.
“We believe Puddles will be a great addition to the Washington invasive species program,” U.S. Bureau of Reclamation Regional Invasive Species Coordinator Heidi McMaster said.
Reclamation paid for training Puddles. “Reclamation is proud to be part of this effort to prevent the introduction of quagga mussels to the Columbia River basin.”
Puddles was rescued from a Fresno, Calif., shelter. Mussel Dogs then trained Puddles to work with Fish and Wildlife Sgt. Pay Taylor.