SPRINGER spaniel Grouse embarked on a new career this week when he headed off to the capital to become an explosives detection dog at the Olympic Games.

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Fourteen-month-old Grouse was brought into the Blue Cross rehoming centre in Kimpton last year as a stray so very little is known about his past.

But staff at the centre were so impressed with his intelligence and inquisitive nature that they introduced him to Malpeet K9 Academy in South Wales as a likely candidate.

After an initial assessment, Grouse began a demanding training course which included scenarios searching everything from cinemas to vehicles. Grouse was assessed by the Metropolitan Police three times and passed with the highest grade.

Lynda Campbell, Blue Cross centre manager at Kimpton said: “We were so proud to hear that Grouse had qualified. When he arrived at the centre it was clear that he was a very intelligent dog who needed new challenges so I’m sure he’ll thrive in his new role.

“Many animals come to Blue Cross looking for a second chance in life so it is always wonderful when they go on to realise their full potential.”

Simon Mallin, managing director Malpeet K9 Academy, said: “I was delighted when Blue Cross contacted us. We travel all over the UK assessing potential dogs and we find many are not suitable for this kind of work. However after only a few minutes of playing with Grouse I knew he had exactly what I was looking for.”

Blue Cross cares for thousands of sick, injured and homeless pets every year, funded entirely by public donations. To find out more or make a donation, contact the centre on 0300 777 1490 or visit www.bluecross.org.uk

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