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Record-breaking Sussex sniffer dog Megan retires at ripe age of eight
4:40am Thursday 23rd January 2014 in News
A record-breaking sniffer dog is set for a well-earned retirement after uncovering some £30 million of cocaine in her seven year career.
Springer Spaniel Megan, who has been protecting Sussex borders since 2007, is now preparing for a luxury life of long walks, copious amounts of treats and lazing in the sun.
And doesn't she deserve it.
On January 17, she made the 102nd find of her distinguished career after sniffing out three parcels of cocaine on a flight from Jamaica into Gatwick.
The discovery took her overall haul to an incredible £30 million of the white stuff - a UK record.
Steven Martin, the eight-year-old's handler, will now keep her as a pet at a “secret location near Gatwick”.
The 29-year-old said: “I feel very lucky to work alongside such a gifted and talented partner.
“Megan is a great asset to law enforcement and typifies the Border Force aim to secure the UK against the ongoing threat of drug smuggling.”
She proved she had the nose for the job shortly after joining Border Patrol from the Metropolitan Force in 2007.
With her big brown eyes, powerful nose and sleek and flexibly body, she was a natural.
Her first big find in March of 2007 saw her sniff out a large quantity of cocaine concealed in candles in freight sent from Barbados.
In the seven years since she has uncovered more than 220kg of the drug with a street value of £30 million.
Her biggest find was 20kg of cocaine which she found in plates from Venezuela.
Her powerful nose has also seen her find drugs hidden in everything from laptops and clothing to a piston and garden sprinklers.
Handler Mr Martin explained how he sets Megan loose to work her way through baggage.
With her nose working overtime and tail furiously wagging she focuses on anything suspicious.
Once she has a find she stops dead and stares back at him.
Alan Thorpe, Border Force dog team leader at Gatwick, said: “Megan and Steve's career haul of over one hundred cocaine detections is an exceptional return for an exceptional team.
“This reflects their hard work and dedication over the past seven years in protecting and securing the UK border.”
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