Fri, Oct 28, 2011 - Page 2 News List

Customs seeking foster homes for Labrador puppies

Staff Writer, with CNA

The Taiwan Customs Detector Dog Breeding and Training Center yesterday said it was looking for families willing to foster 18 purebred Labrador puppies for a year until they are old enough to be trained for work.

The puppies need to be cared for by ordinary families so they become socialized before they begin training, said Chen Ching--piao, a spokesman for the center.

The families need to be willing to take the puppies for walks on the street, in parks and in shopping areas every day to enhance their socialization, Chen said.

It will also be necessary for the families to have a fenced-in yard in which the puppy can run around, Chen said.

The center will cover all expenses, including food, medication and vaccinations, and the families would be able to take the puppies to the center for several days if they want to go away on holiday, Chen said.

Since the center is in Taichung, the foster homes would preferably be located south of Taoyuan and north of Yunlin, because the foster families would have to take the dogs to the center for regular sessions.

The center is currently running a three-month training course for five dogs, which should eventually join the 18 customs detection dogs now working around the nation, Chen said.

Normally detection dogs retire between five and seven years old and are returned to the center to live if no families are willing to adopt them, Chen said.

The detection dog system was adopted in Taiwan in 2000 and the animals are used to investigate high-risk flights, passengers, vessels, containers, express cargo and parcels for traces of contraband.

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