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Company Uses Dog To Sniff Out Mold Problems
Company Says Dog Is Less Expensive Way To Hunt Down Troubles

POSTED: 3:26 p.m. PST November 26, 2002
UPDATED: 5:22 p.m. PST November 26, 2002

ROSEVILLE, Calif. -- A Roseville company has recruited a four-legged helper as a cheaper and more accurate way to pinpoint toxic mold problems.

Sydney is no ordinary Labrador mix. She's can use her nose for detective work that's well beyond human senses. Sydney is billed as the only dog in California that is certified to hunt down mold troubles.

"The master-trainer for Sydney is an FBI trainer that trains on drug dogs, bomb dogs and arson-accelerant dogs. So (it's) almost the exact same training process," said mold detective Russ Collaiu.

"She does a pretty good job at pointing where it is, narrowing it down, pinpointing it," said dog handler Pamela Demarest.

"Time and time again, over the last 60 days, since we've had Sydney, she's proven me wrong, where I think, 'no, there can't be a mold situation going on there.' But we test to verify her findings, and every time, she's been right," Collaiu said.

Sydney's employer, Mold Detectives of Roseville, says this is a more accurate and cost-effective way to track down mold troubles. Toxic mold is an issue that has sparked numerous health complaints in recent years.

"Constant respiratory infections, constant fever, constant headaches. I have a splitting headache right now," said house renter Lori Scarborough.

In one notable case, a family was forced to burn its home, instead of paying to remove mold.

The problem has sparked inquiries and efforts to develop new standards for dealing with mold.

"With the insurance companies, the lawyers, all the growth on the mold issue, this is a cost effective way to get solutions to people," Collaiu said.

Mold Detectives officials say that dogs have been used in Europe for years to detect these problems, but that only recently did they make their appearance in the United States.


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