RAAF working dogs

@JCU RAAF working dogs

margaret reilly 

Pictured: Dr Margaret Reilly, Director, Clinical Governance at JCU's Veterinary School received a certificate of appreciation from the RAAF

A group of JCU staff recently travelled to RAAF Base Townsville to visit the Military Working Dog facility on the western side of the base.

This was a unique invitation to JCU staff within the Discipline of Veterinary Science by the security branch at the RAAF base Townsville to say thank you for the hard work and effort put in by Veterinary Science staff to help train dog handlers at the base. We were made welcome by Sergeant James Notaris, Corporal Andrew Smith and other dog handlers on shift for the occasion.

Our group was divided into two and while the first group toured the modern kennel facility (complete with snake-proofing!) the second group was shown through the admin and (dog) food preparation areas.

Once the groups had swapped over and the seen the whole facility we were treated to a live demonstration by MWD Apache, his handler Cpl Smith and a handler wearing a large padded and brightly-coloured suit. They demonstrated several commands and “bite work” illustrating that Apache was able to target specific areas on the body when commanded to do so. Sgt Notaris explained much of the theory behind training their MWDs and how they manage them in the kennels on a day to day basis.

We concluded the visit with a BBQ courtesy of the base mess which the dog handlers prepared for us which was enjoyed by all. This was followed by the presentation of certificates of appreciation to Dr Linda Hayes and Dr Margaret Reilly for their efforts training the dog handlers in anatomy and emergency first aid.

Bruce Gummow BVSc, BVSc(Hons), MMedVet, PhD, Dipl.ECVPH, MRCVS, FACTM
Professor of Epidemiology
Registered Specialist in Veterinary Preventive Medicine (Epidemiology)
College of Public Health, Medical and Veterinary Sciences
James Cook University, Townsville