Calgary looking to put dog on payroll to sniff out rats

Wanted: tenacious terrier with keen sense of smell to sniff out rats. Bill Bruce, bylaw boss for the City of Calgary, says his department is looking to put a rodent-wrangling pooch on the payroll after a rat was recently found in a northeast neighbourhood.

CALGARY — Wanted: tenacious terrier with keen sense of smell to sniff out rats.

Bill Bruce, bylaw boss for the City of Calgary, says his department is looking to put a rodent-wrangling pooch on the payroll after a rat was recently found in a northeast neighbourhood.

He says other breeds besides terriers will be considered if they have the right qualifications.

The winning candidate might even be a dog from the city animal shelter.

The qualifying canine will live with a bylaw officer, have unlimited access to an on-staff veterinarian and make public appearances.

Calgary’s recent discovery of one Norway rat in what is supposed to be a rat-free province spawned 100 calls about possible sightings.

Concerns were no doubt further spurred by reports around the same time that Swift Current in southern Saskatchewan was infested with rats.

Bruce says the so-called rat-dog will help with early and fast detection in the future.

“It’s not like we can put a 100-foot wall up around Alberta. They will get in,” Bruce said.

“If we do have a suspected rat, the dog could find it in a matter of minutes.”

That would be greatly improved from current “very labour intensive methods” whereby officials search for droppings, evidence of gnawing or rat habitat.

With one to two calls a week about possible rat sightings, Bowser will be earning his biscuits.

Bruce said officials hope to find the right dog by the end of the year.

Just Posted

Red Deerian spreads kindness with one card at a time

One Red Deerian wants to combat bullying by spreading kindness in the… Continue reading

Bowden baby in need of surgery

“Help for Alexis” Go Fund Me account

PHOTO: First Rider bus safety in Red Deer

Central Alberta students learned bus safety in the Notre Dame High School… Continue reading

Red Deer dancer attends national summer school

Dancers with others from across Canada and beyond

WATCH: Annual Family Picnic at Central Spray and Play

Blue Grass Sod Farms Ltd. held the Annual Family Picnic at the… Continue reading

Woman has finger ripped off at West Edmonton Mall waterslide

SASKATOON — A Saskatchewan woman says she lost a finger after her… Continue reading

Uncertainty looms over Canada’s cannabis tourism, but ambitions are high

TORONTO — Longtime marijuana advocate Neev Tapiero is ready for the cannabis-driven… Continue reading

Feds mulling safeguards to prevent ‘surge’ of cheap steel imports into Canada

OTTAWA — The federal government extended an olive branch of sorts to… Continue reading

Ontario govt caps off summer session by passing bill to cut Toronto council size

TORONTO — The Ontario government passed a controversial bill to slash the… Continue reading

Updated:Italian bridge collapse sends cars plunging, killing 26

MILAN — A 51-year-old highway bridge in the Italian port city of… Continue reading

Saudi Arabia spat affecting Canadians embarking on hajj, community members say

TORONTO — Members of Canada’s Muslim community say recent tensions between Ottawa… Continue reading

Tug carrying up to 22,000 litres of fuel capsizes in Fraser River off Vancouver

VANCOUVER — The smell of diesel filled the air as crews worked… Continue reading

Nebraska executes first inmate using fentanyl

LINCOLN, Neb. — Nebraska carried out its first execution in more than… Continue reading

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month