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Retired sniffer dogs get back to work sniffing out gas leaks and save the day

Springer spaniel gas sniffer dogs dog-happy
© CadentGasLtd - Twitter

Retried police dogs Milly, Midge and Nelly are keeping Lancashire neighbourhoods safe by using their amazing sense of smell to sniff out gas leaks that are undetectable by humans.

By Zoë Monk , 23 Jul 2020

Their noses were once used to sniff out explosives, drugs and even criminals. But now Milly, Midge and Nelly have been recruited by gas network Cadent to use their powerful sense of smell to locate gas leaks so engineers can track down minuscule cracks in underground pipes in the North West.

The Springer Spaniel trio are owned by retired police dog instructor Steve Foster. Steve trained the dogs to detect gas leaks thanks to the dogs’ incredible noses. It is thought that a dog’s sense of smell is between 10,000 and 100,000 times better than a human’s.

Powerful sniff

The dogs started their new job helping out at incidences in Blackburn and Manchester and quickly proved to be a great asset. When the repair team dug down to where the dogs had alerted them, the team were impressed to find the dogs were pretty much spot on!

It’s the first time that dogs have been used to sniff out gas leaks but their incredible noses and determination is hoped to help keep residents safe and prevent them from losing their gas supply.


Well done Milly, Midge and Nelly.

Read our guide to why your dog sniffs the genitals of other dogs!