Last November, the Wall Street Journal reported that two toy poodles, Karin and Fuga, successfully passed the police dog exam and commissioned as police search and rescue dogs in the Tottori Prefecture, joining many other small dogs like chihuahuas and schnauzers who are already a part of search and rescue department across Japan. The latest addition to Kyoto Prefecture’s police department, a 4-year-old toy poodle named Mochi, just passed the exam last month.
According to a Japanese newspaper, Mochi is trained as a sniffing dog and will assist in following footprints and detecting explosives and drugs among other odors. “Mochi has always been at the top of his class, in training school,” Mochi’s owner Naomi Yasuda told ABC News. “I just wanted to find a way for him to help others.” And since police departments were struggling to recruit large dogs, they decided to give the little guys a chance and amended rules that stated smaller dogs weren’t fit for duty.
ABC News also stated that the small pups indeed proved themselves in the aftermath of the earthquake and tsunami last year, when they crawled into tiny spaces in search of bodies. Spaces larger dogs like German Sheppard’s would not be able to fit into. Now honestly, if you were stuck under rubble in a tiny hole, is this not the first face you would like to see?