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From Failed Drug-Sniffer to Icon: Taiwan’s Earthquake Recovery Canine

Failed Drug-Sniffing Dog Becomes Icon In Taiwan’s Earthquake Recovery

Roger’s journey to success has been anything but straightforward. Initially trained to be a drug detection dog for customs, it became evident early on that he wasn’t cut out for the job due to his excessively friendly and energetic nature. Despite this setback, his handler, Lee Hsin Hung, recognized Roger’s potential for a different role.

Roger’s exuberance and sociability, which made him unsuitable for drug detection, turned out to be ideal qualities for search-and-rescue work. While traditional narcotic detection dogs need to be calm and obedient, these same attributes were precisely what rescue teams desired in their canines, according to Chen Chih-san, captain of the Kaohsiung Fire Bureau’s rescue dog unit.

From Failed Drug-Sniffer to Icon: Taiwan's Earthquake Recovery Canine

From Failed Drug-Sniffer to Icon: Taiwan’s Earthquake Recovery Canine (Credits: Roanoke Times)

Roger’s personality has propelled him into the spotlight, earning him recognition as a media sensation. His appearances on news segments often steal the show, whether he’s enthusiastically grabbing the microphone or tearing into a stuffed toy. Dubbed a “little hero” by Taiwanese media outlets, Roger’s charm has endeared him to audiences far and wide.

Despite his fame, Roger remains dedicated to his search-and-rescue duties. Over the past four years, he has participated in seven missions, showcasing his skills and determination. However, his illustrious career is soon coming to an end, as he approaches the age of nine. The Kaohsiung Fire Bureau plans to retire him and find him a loving adoptive home where he can enjoy a well-deserved rest after years of service.

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