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June 26, 2013

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Sniffer dogs get new life with families

MAO Mao, an eight-year-old veteran sniffer dog, looked at Ni Jinsong, her new master curiously. It sniffed his foot, rubbed his leg and soon sat beside him, swaying his tail.

The golden retriever along with three other domesticated dogs between six to eight years of age have been patrolling the Shanghai World Financial Center for over three years. All of them were adopted by local families as they reached the "retirement" age.

"They are cleverer than normal dogs because they have received strict training since they were three years old," said Sun Longgen, general manager of the dog training company, and who describes himself as "father of these dogs."

The sniffer dogs patrolled the 492-meter building - the world's third tallest - 14 hours a day, to ensure no explosives or other dangerous materials were brought into the building.

They worked two hours - and rested for an hour - across the stores, unloading zones and underground garages in the building. "They are quite old now and shall enjoy the rest of life after working hard for so long," he said.

Though the high-rise has a caring center for "retired" sniffer dogs, many local residents were keen to adopt them.

The center put up a notice on its official microblog earlier this week and was flooded with replies.

"Father Sun" picked the new master himself yesterday from three families for Mao Mao, who Sun said was his "favorite child."

He said he was proud of Mao Mao because it had worked for 10 months at the World Expo 2010 Shanghai to ensure the safety of the site and was labelled an "Expo hero."

Sun chose Ni, who works in the automobile business, as the new master for Mao Mao. The 35-year-old Ni lives in a villa with his wife near Hongqiao International Airport and had a golden retriever for 10 years.

"Well behaved, my good girl," Sun said of Mao Mao. He also handed over a bag of Mao Mao's favorite food to Ni.

"I raised Mao Mao because it reminds me of my previous pet, a 10-year-old golden retriever who passed away several years ago," Ni told Shanghai Daily.

Ni said he had the experience of taking care of dogs.

"I will make a special diet and accompany her to do some sports every day," he added.

The training company will also provide free life-long physical inspections and medical services routinely at Mao Mao's new master's home, Sun said.

The other three dogs, a Labrador and two Springers, were also adopted by local citizens. The new masters signed adoption contracts with Sun to take good care of the dogs.


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