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Minnesota’s Mercury-Sniffing Dog Dies

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(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

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ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — A Minnesota dog with a keen nose for sniffing out mercury has died.

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency says Clancy died Sunday. He was 14.

Clancy was part of the agency’s Mercury-Free Zone Program. When the program began, the MPCA turned to the St. Paul Police Canine Unit for help in selecting and training a dog.

Carol Hubbard was Clancy’s working partner and handler for the nine years that the Labrador retriever-hound mix worked at the agency. Hubbard and other officers trained Clancy to detect mercury vapor, which humans cannot see, smell or taste.

Mercury poisoning can harm the body’s nervous system and kidneys. Clancy and Hubbard visited 330 schools and helped remove more than 2,000 pounds of mercury.

Clancy retired from service in 2008.

(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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