Bedbug-sniffing dogs honored by NYC after 25,000 inspections

Bedbug-sniffing dogs honored by NYC after 25,000 inspections

The beagles received a “round of aPAWse” during a ceremony Wednesday.

Bedbug-sniffing dogs Nemo, left, and Mickey, right, were honored Wednesday by the commissioner for NYC's Department of Housing Preservation and Development.
Bedbug-sniffing dogs Nemo, left, and Mickey, right, were honored Wednesday by the commissioner for NYC’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development. Photo Credit: Theodore Parisienne

It’s a ruff job.

A pair of bedbug-sniffing beagles, Mickey and Nemo, were honored Wednesday, getting a “round of aPAWse” from the commissioner for the city’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development.

The dogs, who inspect more than a dozen homes each day, were presented with sweaters with their names on them, a certificate of appreciation and a sizable bone.

“These dogs have literally worked their tails off,” said HPD Commissioner Maria Torres-Springer, standing with Mickey and Nemo in the J. Hood Wright Park in Washington Heights. “Clearly we have the upper hound in this fight against bedbugs.”

Torres-Springer, who said she was “in puppy love” with the two 7-year-old dogs, said they have responded to more than 25,000 inspections, about half of all complaints. Of those, about 10,000 have resulted in a violation.

Mickey and Nemo have been with HPD since 2011, when the City Council paved the way to fund the pups. Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer — a member of the City Council at the time — helped allocate the funding to purchase the dogs from Kansas and train them in New York.

Brewer presented the dogs with a certificate of appreciation and a small badge, to much barking and fanfare.

“They are such great dogs,” Brewer said.

Alison Fox