Ever since they were puppies, Nemo and Mickey have only had one job. Smell out bedbugs. It is what they were trained for and they have executed the role flawlessly for almost a decade now.
The two miniature beagles are part of the code enforcement team at the city Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) that checks for bedbug infestation in New York apartments. The duo joined the team in 2011 and the vet responsible for them estimates that they have about two years of service remaining. Nemo is 10 and Mickey is 11. But, it has been one heck of a career!
In 2017, the two beagles achieved a career landmark by surpassing 25,000 inspections. Combined, Nemo and Mickey average more than 3,500 inspections annually. But perhaps nobody knows the two dogs better than HPD inspector, David Trevino. An avid dog lover and parent himself, Trevino remembers hearing the agency bring up the idea of creating a canine unit and he immediately knew it was something he would love to do.
And after nine years of working with the two beagles, he has nothing but fond memories. “I love working with them. They are smart dogs. They’ve been doing it so long, you know. We do training every year, but it’s already in their blood.” Trevino said. Nevertheless, Trevino acknowledges that the dogs’ detection skills are not 100% and that’s why he is there to verify.
During the height of the coronavirus pandemic, Trevino had an unexpected opportunity to bond with the two beagles after their current daycare center, Biscuits and Baths, was forced to shut down temporarily. He loved it and so did his one-year-old Belgian Malinois that he calls King.
And now with his retirement approaching too, Trevino is hopeful that the agency will let him retire with the dogs to Puerto Rico or the Dominican Republic where they will have plenty of open fields to play as they please. It would be a deserved ending to a decorated career, don’t you agree?
Images & Feature Image Source: Jonathan Patkowski/Housing Preservation and Development