A once abandoned Majorcan dog has been on the front line in America's fight against terrorism.
Winston, a two-yearold Breton Spaniel, was recruited from the Centro Canino animal shelter in Palma last year by Majorca-based dog trainer Bill Jarvis, and is now sniffing out bombs and ammunition for US anti-terrorist dog patrols.
Jarvis who spotted him, said he is the top dog over there, and is already being called the bomb dog by dog trainers.
He said: He can find a bomb anywhere and has come the top of his course. Winston's original owner brought him into the Palma-based dog shelter because he couldn't handle the canine's endless energy and said it would be better if someone else looked after him.
A Committee member from the Centro Canino, which is fighting for survival at the moment over plans to demolish the site for a new park area, said yesterday: He was a very sweet and gentle dog with a lot of life. We never thought of him being so clever. After four months intensive training in Majorca last year Winston was ready to start work in the US, where he works with forces in the US in the fight against terror. He is sent into buildings, cars or warehouses to sniff out bombs and ammunition.
He joins a number of Majorcan dogs working in America trained by the same owner, two of which are in Winston's regiment.
Brock and Cargo, both pedigree Labradors bred in Majorca, who work alongside Winston.
Their trainer said: The secret to training these dogs is kindness, patience and reward. To be a good sniffer dog they have to show willingness to play and adaptability. What we do is all a game to the dogs, they enjoy it. I train the dogs on the island to a certain standard and then they go out to the US. We have some dogs from Majorca that are currently out in Iraq working, he added.
Winston's success comes at a time when the dogs home, where he was recruited last April, is appealing for help to keep the centre alive after 30 years of caring for dogs.