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Animal employment – the world of working animals

28 August 2017

Whether it’s pampering the pooch with a spa day, feeding our felines their favourite treats, or getting a new run for the rabbit, there’s not much we wouldn’t do to keep our pets happy.

With all the lengths we go to for our pals, it’s easy to forget about those special animals that give something back, and make a real difference to the lives of so many of us. Here at Pets Corner, we love to hear about the wonderfully varied world of working animals. So we’ve focused on a few favourites and what makes them incredible.

Military Menagerie

You’re likely to have seen the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment, which goes on parade for Her Majesty’s birthday, but they’re certainly not the only ceremonial animals in the British Military. For example, did you know about Private Derby XXX, the Swaledale ram that acts as mascot for the Mercian Regiment? Or the Shetland pony named Pegasus, who trots out alongside the Parachute Regiment?

It’s not all ceremony though, the 1st Military Working Dog Regiment boasts as many as 384 canine comrades that assist solidiers in the field.

One of the most famous of these heroes is Buster, the English Springer Spaniel from Hampshire who served five tours of duty as a detection dog for the British Army. Buster was awarded the Dickin Medal, known as ‘the animals’ Victoria Cross’, for his efforts.

Hairy Helpers

One of the most incredible examples of animals in service is assistance dogs for people with physical disabilities, such as the pups trained by our friends at Canine Partners.

The dogs are trained to help with everyday tasks such as opening and closing doors, unloading the washing machine and picking up dropped items. They can even help people get undressed, remove a card from an ATM and fetch help in an emergency!

The impact these dogs have on their human partners is immeasurable, and they bring a level of independence and confidence that could not be achieved otherwise, which is why we at Pets Corner are so proud to support the charity.

Police Pooches

Dogs have accompanied sheriffs and constables for decades, with officers known to bring their pets along on night patrols. Today’s Police Dog Unit is full of brave and highly trained dogs that support officers in a variety of complex operations.

Along with mounted police, police dogs are a familiar sight at large sporting events and other community-based initiatives assisting with crowd management, but they are also involved in many other police activities.

Thanks to their incredible sense of smell, specially trained dogs are deployed to search for, track down and locate evidence from crime scenes, such as drugs or explosives, as well as suspects and criminals.

A Helping Hound

UK Search and Rescue teams also make use of this heightended sense of smell and have provided assistance in many disaster zones around the world, including Japan, New Zealand, Haiti, Sumatra, Pakistan, Thailand and Algeria.

Through air scenting, trailing and tracking, dogs and their handlers can cover a greater percentage of a search zone or disaster area. The dogs have to maintain extreme discipline for four to eight hours at a time, which means they can’t get spooked by loud noises or distracted by wildlife.