|Dogs Who Save Lives|
|Under United Nations sanction, 160 trained dogs - called detection dogs, are helping sniff out land mines in Afghanistan. They come from the Mine Detection and Dog Center in Peshawar, Pakistan, where they learn to obey their handlers - who speak to them in Dutch (so they will not be swayed or confused by any orders from any one else). This center has been training dogs for ten years. One trained dog can cost up to 7-thousand dollars, but what they do cannot be measured in dollars.
Tens of thousands of land mines have been detected and destroyed using these dogs, who are saving many lives. Despite the fact that Muslims traditionally have thought of dogs as unclean, these animals are gaining respect in Pakistan and in Afghanistan, admired by citizens and by the handlers who may be Muslims themselves. It is dangerous work for the dogs, who detect the mines and sit down 3 feet away to signal their handlers that they have detected a mine. The handler then can move in and destroy it.
Six dogs reportedly have died in the line of duty in the last ten years. There are an estimated 8 to 10 million land mines in Afghanistan, left over from the Soviet occupation and other conflicts.