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South Florida’s first MoldDogs have arrived

The latest lethal weapon in the war against mold comes in the form of two cuddly canines that have been trained to sniff and detect mold where conventional methods may fail.
Both rescued from the Humane Society, two “MoldDogs” named Snickers and Tootsie are the newest addition to services offered by Miami-based Mold Detection Services, Inc.
Brother and sister team David and Jennifer Leshner are backing the venture, both leaving their previous careers to invest in mold, an increasing problem in the Sunshine State.
“I was watching Animal Planet one evening and there was a segment on mold sniffing dogs in Europe, where they have been used as a proven method for twenty years,” said David.
“I did some research and was surprised to find that no one offered a ‘MoldDog’ service in South Florida, a place where mold wreaks havoc if left undetected.”
Approximately 38 percent of U.S. households have mold, they said, resulting in construction damage and health problems, particularly from the Stachybotrys strain, otherwise known as toxic mold.
A recent rash of high-profile mold cases, including a $20 million lawsuit by Ed McMahon claiming toxic mold killed his dog and a $32 million lawsuit won by a Texas family for illness and damages from mold, has greatly increased the public’s awareness of the problem.
The Melina Bill, a federal bill introduced by Congressman John Conyers, Jr., would require a mold inspection before any federal home loan could be issued. If passed by the U.S. Congress, it promises to increase the controversy and public awareness surrounding mold.
“MoldDogs” are trained to discriminate scents from various types of microbial colonies in a variety of structures, the company says, including places where people cannot reach or see.
“By immediately pinpointing the source of the problem, the dogs can eliminate costly and invasive testing,” the dogs’ owners said. “Their results are immediate and accurate and can lead to lower remediation costs for homeowners and insurers.”
“MoldDogs” receive more than 1,000 hours of training before they are put into service and, thereafter, are continuously trained on a daily basis and tested quarterly.
Mold can grow anywhere that damp conditions exist and will start to grow in as little as 24 hours, gradually destroying whatever surface it is growing on. If allowed to fester, mold can destroy entire structures as well as cause severe health risks including infection, inflammation and allergic reactions.
Medical problems range from bleeding lungs, digestive problems, hair loss, nausea, loss of memory and reduced cognitive skills.
The company also offers traditional methods of mold detection, including hygrometers, boroscopes, protimeters, laser particle counters, and air, bulk and surface sampling. Services include basic inspections and follow-up testing (air samples, swabs and glass slides).
Tootsie and Snickers promise to be a formidable foe to mold, David said, adding “The public’s reaction has been overwhelming. Our clients fall in love with the dogs every time.”
Visit Mold Detection Services, Inc.’s website at www.mdsdog.com.

 

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