It takes Nemo less than a minute to know whether there are quagga or zebra mussels latched onto a boat.
That’s because Nemo is a black Labrador retriever whose sense of smell is about 1,000 times greater than a human’s. A person would need roughly 15 minutes to thoroughly check out the boat.
Mussels likely spread across North America’s major river systems and the Great Lakes through ballast water discharges. They were first found in Lake St. Clair in 1986 and quickly expanded their range from there. Now they are in almost every major waterway in the United States. Click on the following paragraph to access the full story.
Nemo is a rescue dog. He was barking so much in his owner’s backyard that the neighbors started to complain, prompting the teacher to give him up to a shelter. That’s where Debi DeShon, owner of Mussel Dogs, found him. DeShon has been training dogs for a long time, but she trained her first “mussel dog” in 2010. She learned about the invasive species when a friend who worked at a lake invited her to a Fish and Wildlife Service demonstration. “I hadn’t even heard about the mussels,” she said.