Canine champions take chauffeured commute

Last Updated : 03 Jul 2019
Canine champions take chauffeured commute
Kosher in her chauffeur-driven cab
Pest dogs 3
Kosher keen to hit the road to work!
Pest dogs 4
Pipi at work with handler Brian Shields
Canine champions take chauffeured commute (1)

For most of us, we get to work by bus, car or maybe our own two feet.

Meet the team of tenacious terriers who commute in style – in a specially designed wagon pulled by an electric bike!

These furry friends ride the wagon from their home base to the wharves in central Auckland where they check for pests on boats heading out to the Hauraki Gulf Islands.

“It’s a great idea,” says Mayor Phil Goff.  “With traffic congestion in the city centre, it makes sense to use bikes to move our biosecurity dogs around the city.”

Pest Dog 5
Dog handler Lois Clayton & Mayor Goff on Wynyard Wharf

“The dog team is integral to our programme. Their surveillance abilities are outstanding, and they cover a lot of ground making them more efficient than traditional reliance on visual inspections by staff.”

The woofy-workforce certainly keep their noses busy, playing a vital role in protecting our native species while ensuring they cause minimal disruption to the wharves operational activities. 

The dogs are part of Auckland Council’s wider – mostly human –  biosecurity team working to prevent predators and pests from reaching the gulf islands. The four-legged contingent specialises in sniffing out rodents, plague skinks, stoats and ferrets – while their main duty is to patrol ferries, they also respond to incursions.

Jonathan Miles, Biosecurity Team Manager is enthusiastic about making their work as efficient as possible, so easy movement about the city is important as they’re our most effective tools available for pest detection.

“Pests pose a threat to our native species – if they reach the islands, they’d eat and displace our flora and fauna. These dogs are preventing that.”

So, if you’re in central city, look out for our furry friends and give them a wave – hopefully they’re enjoying the ride!

Back to News