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Monday, 24 June 2013 11:08

German shepherd mix expert at sniffing out waste

(PORT SANILAC) -- Sanilac County health officials used an 8-year-old German shepherd mix's unique sniffing skills to make area waters safer for swimmers. Sable was taken to beaches around Sanilac County last week to check for human waste. Scott Reynolds is Sable's handler and co-owner of Environmental Canine Services, which trains dogs to detect human waste in watersheds. Sanilac County takes water samples once a week in summer. The samples can detect certain contaminants, but take about 24 hours to process, and cannot indicate the origin or whether it is from humans or animals. It takes Sable one quick sniff to determine the presence of human fecal matter. Reports say he didn't find much in the sand, but he detected human waste in samples from Forester Township, Marlette, Peck, Sandusky and the Argyle areas. Sable's visit cost $850, covered by grant money from the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative.