Pet Life Magazine, New Zealand Pet Life Magazine Issue 4 Spring 2017 - Page 4

HERO HOUNDS Dogs are just the best pets! Every day they make you laugh, their love is unconditional, they have a nose for knowing when something’s wrong, and they always have your back. But some dogs spread their super powers far and wide, outside the family. Pet Life editor Inger Vos meets four such hero hounds. Mena - finder of penguins They smell, they bite, it’s a wet job and the novelty wears off quickly for many who sign up to help work with little blue penguins. But it’s always fun for Mena. The 5-year-old Hungarian Vizsla from Kaikoura is New Zealand’s only dedicated, DOC-certified little blue penguin detector dog and her keen nose has been sniffing out burrows for nearly two years now, helping to contribute to penguin research and conservation efforts wherever she is needed in New Zealand. “She loves it,” says Mena’s owner and handler, Alastair Judkins, co-founder of the Kaikoura Ocean Research Institute (KORI), a network of marine researchers and educators committed to protecting the marine environment. Mena’s jo