ARL Employee Traveling to Beirut to Train U.N. Bomb Dogs

DES MOINES, Iowa  --  In October, ARL Animal Service Manager Mick McAuliffe is heading halfway around the world to do his part in saving lives.

McAuliffe, formerly a dog trainer for the Australian military, will be going to Lebanon's capital to train United Nations bomb detection dogs and their handlers. McAuliffe says he's focused on the mental well-being of these animals, as even dogs can suffer from issues like PTSD.

"Like any animal, with a traumatic event comes PTSD. These guys are all working dogs and have not had any trauma, but again with being different breeds, different environments...I'm looking at things like housing, we look at physical well-being and mental well-being, and my part of it is the mental well-being," he says.

McAuliffe will be teaching handlers how to de-stress their dogs after a long day's work and recognize when their dogs need time away from the job.

"You don't want a dog to have an off day for explosive detection. Everything is taken into consideration, also dogs not feeling well physically or mentally won't be working. They're athletes, they're super dogs, a super job," he says.

McAuliffe says he will be overseas for a few weeks.