MDD Charlie with his handler
Over the past 15 years, the Marshall Legacy Institute (MLI) has donated 182 life-saving mine detection dogs to war-torn countries. By donating these highly trained MDDs to the neediest of countries, while also training & equipping local dog handlers to safely and effectively employ the MDDs in national landmine clearance programs, MLI has helped to greatly accelerate mine clearance around the world. Each year, MLI's amazing dog teams "sniff out" millions of square meters of land and, by expediting the rate at which land is cleared, they not only save lives, but also positively impact the socio-economic growth of fragile post-conflict countries and the likelihood that these countries will remain at peace.
Several years ago, MLI donated MDDs Charlie and Granite to EKO Dem, a small non-profit demining organization headquartered in Banja Luka, Bosnia Herzegovina (BiH). During 2011, these two life-saving dogs and their handlers cleared 54,410 square meters of land, including villages and agricultural land, which can now be used safely by the Bosnian people. Just last month, these two teams completed a demining task in Olovo, BiH. Since the war in Bosnia ended, more than 60 people have been injured or killed by landmines in Olovo. Tragically, just a few weeks before the teams began their work in August 2012, a six year old boy in Olovo was killed as he was gathering wood with his father. Today, thanks to the work of MDDs Charlie and Granite, and their brave handlers, future tragedies in Olovo have been averted and the people of Olovo can safely use their land.
MDDs Charlie and Granite:
When MDDs Charlie and Granite are not "sniffing out" mines and saving lives, both dogs live with their handlers, who are brothers, on a ranch in BiH, where they have ample opportunity to run around and play on the vast property. Their handlers, Dragoslav and Ostoja Arapovic, developed their love of dogs as children and say they are nearly inseparable from MDDs Granite and Charlie.
Ostoja, the elder brother, has been a dog handler and dog trainer for 13 years and has been MDD Granite's handler since 2009. Dragoslav became interested in dog handling and became a MDD handler in 2005, the same year that MDD Charlie was donated to EKO Dem. This dynamic duo have been together ever since and spend nearly all of their time together, exercising and playing.
Dragoslav and Ostoja described both dogs as "excellent" with a keen desire to work, making them very focused, and exceedingly good mine detectors. Dragoslav added that MDD Charlie, who is a very large German Shepherd, has an extremely gentle personality, which is in contrast to his rather intimidating stature!
MLI extends our sincere thanks to all of our donors who support our Mine Detection Dog program, which enables MDDs like Charlie and Granite to save tens of thousands of lives in countries around the world. Thank you for your support!
MDD Charlie with his handler.2
MDD Granite "sniffing out" mines
MDD Charlie "sniffing out" mines in Olovo