by Justin Spike
BUDAPEST, Hungary ( Associated Press) – The Hungarian military has found a new mission in life for a gifted dog who was rescued from abusive owners, 2-year-old Logan to serve in counter-terrorism operations for an elite bomb squad was admitted.
The Belgian shepherd is undergoing intensive training as an explosives detection dog for the Hungarian Defense Forces’ Explosive Ordnance Disposal and Warship Regiment.
At the unit’s garrison on the Danube River in the capital Budapest, Logan receives daily socialization and obedience exercises, and is trained to recognize the smell of 25 different explosive substances.
Logan’s instructor, Sergeant First Class Balazs Nemeth, said, “He has already begun to learn how to smell explosives in a completely homogeneous environment, and he has also begun to learn how to smell explosives in motor vehicles and ships. How to find
Logan’s new role as a bomb finder came only after a difficult early life. In 2021, animal welfare officials received a report that a dog was being abused and kept in inhumane conditions in a rural dwelling in northeastern Hungary. During an on-site inspection, officers found Logan confined to a one-metre (3 ft) chain and suffering from malnutrition.
Several weeks later, Nemeth, the regiment’s training officer, visited the shelter where Logan was held and began to assess his suitability to become a professional bomber.
“The first impression we got from him was very positive. We saw a well-motivated dog in relatively good condition and we immediately trusted him,” Nemeth said.
In a demonstration in the unit’s garrison, Nemeth uncovers a case containing two dozen vials of counterfeit explosive material such as C-4, TNT, ammonium nitrate, and others, which Logan is trained to detect.
After hiding a small package of explosives in a hidden crevice on one of the regiment’s river boats, Nemeth brought Logan to the training area where he immediately went to work sniffing for the package, which he found within seconds. . The dog’s body tensed as it pointed with its nose at the source of the smell, alerting its handler.
The regiment’s commanding officer, Colonel Zsolt Szilagi, said that the increasing use of improvised explosive devices by extremist cells since the turn of the millennium has made it necessary to employ new methods to detect potential bombs.
“This was a challenge the military had to respond to, and one of the best ways to locate these devices is to use explosive detection dogs,” Szilagi said. “These four-legged comrades are supporting the activities of our bomb disposal troops.”
Logan, he said, would serve as an inspector of important sites in Hungary, and could be sent to NATO missions abroad with the country’s military.
While rescued dogs often face challenges in training, given their often traumatic background, Nemeth said he is confident Logan will be successful and a valuable addition to the unit.
“Logan is very valuable because about one in 10,000 dogs rescued are both medically and psychologically fit for military service,” he said.
Recruiting rescued dogs reveals their often overlooked abilities, and allows them to find a new home where they can thrive, Szilagi said.
“There are dogs that have great potential but for some reason they have been marginalized,” he said. “We may be giving these dogs a new opportunity to have a family, so to speak, where they can live a proper life and be useful in loving, capable hands.”