Clever pup keeps mental health hospital free of illegal drugs

Clever pup Poppy

Clever pup Poppy

First published in News Wandsworth Guardian: Photograph of the Author by , Chief reporter

This hardworking pup might look cute but she is tasked with the tough job of keeping a mental health hospital free of illegal drugs.

Labrador Poppy, at just 15 months old, now works for the South West London and St George's Mental Health NHS Trust (SWLSTG), based in Tooting, after completing her narcotics course.

Wandsworth Guardian:

Poppy with her handler Julie 

She joins another dog, Paddy, making them the only Metropolitan Police narcotics dog team, working for the NHS, in the country.

Her handler, Julie Traynor, said: "Poppy is a natural for the job. She’s stubborn, gentle and also very brave all of which are ideal attributes for narcotics work and working in hospitals.

"She’s very popular with patients and staff and she gets along with Paddy as well."

The young dog was named Poppy after a vote of SWLSTG’s patients and staff.

The pair will work in all of SWLSTG’s wards, sniffing out Class A and B drugs, but she will also be hired out to other hospitals.

Poppy also provides a therapeutic role to hospitals by visiting ward and patients.

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