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Chihuahua Sniffs Her Way Onto K9 Unit

Chihuahua Sniffs Her Way Onto K9 Unit

Momo the Chihuahua has become Japan's – and possibly the world's – smallest police dog. [AP]

BBC News via YellowBrix

November 22, 2010

JAPAN – Her high-pitched yapping is never likely to intimidate Japan’s criminal fraternity, and few believe she would be able to lick them into submission or flash her dewy brown eyes to elicit a confession.

Instead, Momo, who weighs in at a mere 3kg (6.6lb), today became what is thought to be the first chihuahua – the world’s smallest breed of dog – to qualify for police duty, as a search-and-rescue specialist.

The seven-year-old long-haired chihuahua – whose name means peach – was one of 32 out of 70 candidates to qualify as a search-and-rescue dog employed by police in Nara prefecture, western Japan.

What she lacks in her ability to terrify suspects into submission she makes up for in her sense of smell: Momo passed the test by finding a “trapped” victim of a simulated natural disaster in less than five minutes, having only sniffed his hat moments earlier.

Nara’s prefectural police department operates an equal opportunities canine employment policy, but officials admitted that Momo’s elevation to the ranks of police dog had taken them by surprise.

“Any breed of dog can be entered to become a police dog in the search-and-rescue division,” a police spokesman told Reuters. But he added: “It’s quite unusual.”

While she has yet to rescue a single soul, Momo has already won a place in the affections of this nation of dog-lovers. Television footage showed her bounding through the grass, her long coat swaying in the breeze. “The phone hasn’t stopped ringing all afternoon” with calls from smitten viewers, the spokesman said.

In January, Momo will get down to the more serious business of locating people buried under the rubble after earthquakes, making the most of her diminutive stature to squeeze into gaps inaccessible to bigger rescue dogs, such as retrievers and german shepherds.


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  • Ba_old_glory_max50

    Jonas

    over 3 years ago

    42222 Comments

    Formidable to be sure...lol!!!

  • 14600_10200352713679693_171098802_n_max50

    ImpdsAngel

    over 3 years ago

    3140 Comments

    awww thats so sweet ! funny my great grandmother whom passed in 2001 her name was momo ....no matter how little doesnt matter if there heart & dedcation are there

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    cbollinger

    over 3 years ago

    8 Comments

    Check out "Midge", Geauga County S.O., Ohio

    http://www.sheriff.geauga.oh.us/Divisions/Law/Midge.aspx

  • Me2__1__max50

    Avacop310

    over 3 years ago

    476 Comments

    As the owner of a 5 pound walking ball of fluff that likes to wedge herself in to tiny spaces and peek out at you, I can tell you that tiny dogs are perfect for small space search-and-rescue. Momo is not only perfect, but insanely adorable.

  • John_groh_max50

    wiseass0282

    over 3 years ago

    10984 Comments

    If this Chihucha is like any others I now, including my wifes. The damn dog will piss on the people she finds to let you know.

  • 063_max50

    jims4

    over 3 years ago

    2610 Comments

    Momo will be looking for the good guys and not the bad guys. Nice story!

  • John_groh_max50

    wiseass0282

    over 3 years ago

    10984 Comments

    rickm I was thinking the same thing.

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    Anonymous

    over 3 years ago

    at least she can get into very small places

  • Cruise_2014_max50

    BigNTS

    over 3 years ago

    6822 Comments

    Who's first to volunteer to be Momo's partner?

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