Troubled dogs get a second chance in this photo essay by Jaymi Heimbuch, our newest photographer. Conservation Canines is a program of University of Washington's Center for Conservation Biology since 1996 that adopts dogs who have little to no chance of finding a forever home with a family. The dogs have endless energy and one-track minds. These traits make them impossible as pets, but ideal for working as scat detection dogs.
A Conservation Canine and their handler work together to locate data to aid wildlife biologists. The dogs are trained in scent detection for over three dozen species, from orca whale scat to endangered spotted owl pellets. From caribou in Canada to dholes in Cambodia, the dogs have proven themselves to be an invaluable asset to biology projects around the world.
Jaymi takes us into the field to see these diligent dogs and their handlers working together for a common goal. They go to school too - ambassador dogs make special visits to local elementary schools where they help kids learn about the program, wildlife and science.