SAN DIEGO COUNTY, Calif. — A special celebration took place Wednesday for one of San Diego's most adorable public servants. The County’s Agriculture, Weights & Measures department paid tribute to one of its detector dogs, Podder, as he retires from service.
His handler, Kyle Moranton, said it's tough to find a nose like Podder. He said saying goodbye to him is hard because he is one of the best at detecting packages with illegal plants and fruits coming into California.
Podder's early retirement at only six years old is due to epilepsy. The Lab/Beagle mix has experienced multiple seizures that will keep him out of the job, but now he gets to live the rest of his life as a happy normal dog.
Moranton has worked with Podder side-by-side for years and said his life will totally change.
"He's such a great working dog, this is not the way I wanted him to go out. I had so much more work I could've done with him--so much more of a future, but you know life, it happens and you can't really predict the way things are going to go," Moranton said.
Podder is a very important pup. He’s inspected packages from UPS, FedEx, and the U.S. Postal Service. He barks and scratches at a box to alert his handler Kyle if there are any insects or plants that could negatively impact agriculture. Podder was rescued at just two years old from Georgia and has been working and training ever since -- giving four years of service to San Diego.
He originally was meant to be a customs dog, but found his way onto California's Agriculture Detector Dog Team. He could work up to 9 years, but now requires a lifetime of medication.
Kyle said he now has to say goodbye to Podder, but he will be adopted by a new family who says Kyle can see him whenever he wants! Kyle said he doesn’t think he will get another dog because it’s an eight to 10 year commitment.
Podder is one happy dog, who loves hiking and playing with his friends…all things he can now do every single day. Thank you for your service, Podder!