Wild Northerner Magazine Spring 2017 - Page 36

Veniot and Colt went through four months of daily intensive training last summer to prepare them both for their line of work. The course focused on detection, tracking and obedience and control.

“I had to be trained just as much as Colt did as we were both brand new,” Veniot said. “Training is a part of the everyday life of a canine handler, and it just begins after the four-month course. We both have to stay sharp. The most exciting part for Colt and I so far has to be the first piece of evidence he located. Colt located spent rifle casings during an investigation, and I was so proud. It really made me feel accomplished and the future seem bright.”

Veniot and Colt are based in Timmins and travel extensively throughout Northeastern Ontario in support of other conservation officers. The team has a variety of roles and responsibilities, such as assisting officers with evidence recovery during investigations and public outreach at school presentations and demonstrations. They also go out on regular scheduled patrols during the hunting and fishing seasons with other officers to ensure compliance with natural resource legislation.

“I enjoy making a difference and helping to protect Ontario's natural resources through enforcement and I think Colt agrees, too,” Veniot said.