Pest-sniffing dog deployed at Boston museum to protect art from bugs

Pest-sniffing dog deployed at Boston museum to protect art from bugs

- in Science

The fight against pests at one of the nation’s premier art museums now has a new four-legged weapon.

The Boston Museum of Fine Arts unveiled the newest addition to its staff on Wednesday, a Weimaraner puppy named Riley who will eventually be trained to sniff out insects or other pests that could potentially damage works of art.

Riley belongs to and will be trained by Nicki Luongo, the museum’s director of protective services, according to Boston 25 News.

“If Riley can learn to smell something before we can see it, he can help us investigate and prevent damage to an art object, which is an amazing concept to think about,” Deputy Director Katie Getchell told reporters during Riley’s unveiling.

Museum Dog

The Boston Museum of Museum of Fine Arts unveiled a Weimaraner puppy named Riley to check for pests that could damage artwork.

 (Boston 25 News)


The Weimaraner breed are referred to as the “gray ghost,” due to their sleek coats, according to the American Kennel Club. They also are bed for “speed, good scenting ability, courage and intelligence.”

Getchell told The Boston Globe that insects are an ongoing concern for museums and there already are existing protocols in place to handle potential infestations.

Riley will add another layer and help sniff out pests humans can’t see.

The museum said while Riley may have an “important job to do,” it will mostly be behind the scenes, and not seen by daily visitors.

Travis Fedschun is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter @travfed


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