Dogs Hound Pests

Man's best friend joins county inspectors to help "sniff out" packages that contain plants, fruits and flowers, saving the state millions of dollars.

"Friday" is a special dog with a particular nose for plants, fruits and flowers. She's also the newest weapon against pests in the County's Department of Agriculture, Weights and Measures. Friday and her handler, County Agricultural/Standards Inspector Jeremy Partch, perform inspections at local shipping companies.

Friday, one of only five agricultural detection dog teams in California, sniffs packages to detect plants, flowers or fruit, helping Partch identify agricultural products that should be inspected for pests. Friday has already "sniffed out" more than 3,000 packages. This has proven to be an invaluable skill since a new pest is introduced into the state every 60 days. Overall, these pests cost the state's agricultural business about $3 billion in pest control and crop loss.

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