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Helsinki’s COVID-19 sniffer dogs receive hero awards from kennel club

Helsinki Airport’s COVID-19 sniffer dogs, on duty daily to help prevent the spread of the pandemic, have received Special Hero Dog Awards from the Finnish Kennel Club.

Trained to do their jobs by Wise Nose, to date the four enthusiastic new members of airport have sniffed samples taken from more than 2,000 passengers.

And on Wednesday, Kössi, Miina, ET and Valo were recognised for their efforts by the Finnish Kennel Club, which gives Hero Dog Awards to dogs that have helped save one or more human lives.

“We wish to congratulate the COVID-19 sniffer dogs for the commendation. They are the true heroes of the pandemic,” noted Finavia’s Helsinki Airport director, Ulla Lettijeff.

“These canine heroes have attracted extremely wide international interest, which proves the unique nature of this type of activity.”

In a statement, the Finnish Kennel Club says that the work of the COVID-19 sniffer dogs makes a real positive difference in terms of people’s wellbeing.

The dogs, which started work at the airport in September, have been generally welcomed by passengers.

So far, of the more than 2,000 passenger samples sniffed at the airport, less than 1% have tested positive for the coronavirus. On average, it takes about two minutes to test one passenger.

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