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Clancy, nation’s first, only mercury detecting dog, dies

From dog pound to international stardom, Clancy, the nation’s only mercury-detecting dog, passed away on Sunday, April 21. He was 14.

Clancy, who worked in the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency’s Mercury-Free Zone Program, will be remembered for his single-minded commitment to improving Minnesota’s environment. All he ever asked for in return was an ordinary tennis ball.

Carol Hubbard was Clancy’s working partner and handler for the nine years that he worked at the agency. She and officers from the St. Paul Police Canine Unit, trained Clancy to detect mercury vapor, which humans cannot see, smell or taste.

Clancy’s ability to capture and hold students’ attention was valuable in his and Hubbard’s efforts to educate Minnesota students and school faculty about the dangers of mercury. Throughout his tenure at the M-P-C-A, Clancy and Hubbard visited 330 schools and helped remove more than 2,000 pounds of mercury.

In 2007 the Minnesota Legislature banned mercury in schools. Thanks, in part, to Hubbard and Clancy’s work.

Clancy retired from service in 2009, yet he never lost his energy and dogged playfulness.

“He was a great dog and the best work partner anyone could ask for.” Hubbard said. “He will be sorely missed by me, my family, and many of the people he met and helped throughout Minnesota.”