Humane Society shelter dog, Mater to become drug sniffing dog

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MILWAUKEE – The Wisconsin Humane Society has announced one of its shelter dogs will join the Wisconsin State Patrol for drug detection work

Mater, a 1.5-year-old black Labrador Retriever, was chosen for training after passing aptitude and medical tests.

Glen Bishop, U.S. Homeland Security Customs and Border Protection Certified Canine Trainer, recently contacted WHS about his quest to find a dog to work in law enforcement.

Mater's behavior program manager suspected that Mater might excel in this line of work. Humane Society officials say Mater is curious, exuberant, confident, highly motivated and eager to learn.

"He just really kind of shined as one of those dogs who really stood out for a dog that might be a really good candidate for their program. He had one of those personalities where he was really outgoing, confident in new environments and he showed an incredible drive finding, and playing with tennis balls and with tug toys," Natalie Zielinski with the Wisconsin Humane Society said.

Zielinski says the Humane Society has worked to place dogs with law enforcement before.

"They have a very good home life when they're off-duty and when they're working, they're very productive, and they seem to be very happy with the work that they do," Wisconsin State Patrol Trooper J.D. Lind said.

"He gets to do all the great things that he's really good at, and he is in a home environment, so we couldn't ask for anything better," Zielinski said.

Mater will begin several weeks of training before he’s considered an official State Patrol dog, and he will live as a companion with his new trainer.

Obtaining a detection dog through the Wisconsin Humane Society saves the Wisconsin State Patrol an estimated $15,000 in training and other related costs.