South Florida’s first MoldDogs have arrived
The latest lethal weapon in the war against mold comes in
the form of two cuddly canines that have been trained to sniff and
where conventional methods may fail.
Both rescued from the
Humane Society, two “MoldDogs” named Snickers and Tootsie are the
newest addition to services offered by Miami-based Mold Detection
Brother and sister team David and Jennifer
Leshner are backing the venture, both leaving their previous careers
to invest in mold, an
increasing problem in the Sunshine State.
“I was watching Animal
Planet one evening and there was a segment on mold sniffing dogs in Europe,
where they have been used as a proven method for twenty years,” said
“I did some research and was surprised to find that no
one offered a ‘MoldDog’ service in South Florida, a place where mold wreaks
havoc if left undetected.”
Approximately 38 percent of U.S.
households have mold, they said,
resulting in construction damage and health problems, particularly
from the Stachybotrys strain, otherwise known as toxic mold.
recent rash of high-profile mold cases,
including a $20 million lawsuit by Ed McMahon claiming toxic mold killed his
dog and a $32 million lawsuit won by a Texas family for illness and
damages from mold, has
greatly increased the public’s awareness of the problem.
Melina Bill, a federal bill introduced by Congressman John Conyers,
Jr., would require a mold inspection
before any federal home loan could be issued. If passed by the U.S.
Congress, it promises to increase the controversy and public
awareness surrounding mold.
“MoldDogs” are trained to discriminate scents from various types
of microbial colonies in a variety of structures, the company says,
including places where people cannot reach or see.
immediately pinpointing the source of the problem, the dogs can
eliminate costly and invasive testing,” the dogs’ owners
said. “Their results are immediate and accurate and can lead to
lower remediation costs for homeowners and insurers.”
receive more than 1,000 hours of training before they are put into
service and, thereafter, are continuously trained on a daily basis
and tested quarterly.
Mold can grow
anywhere that damp conditions exist and will start to grow in as
little as 24 hours, gradually destroying whatever surface it is
growing on. If allowed to fester, mold can destroy
entire structures as well as cause severe health risks including
infection, inflammation and allergic reactions.
range from bleeding lungs, digestive problems, hair loss, nausea,
loss of memory and reduced cognitive skills.
The company also
offers traditional methods of mold detection,
including hygrometers, boroscopes, protimeters, laser particle
counters, and air, bulk and surface sampling. Services include basic
inspections and follow-up testing (air samples, swabs and glass
Tootsie and Snickers promise to be a formidable foe to
said, adding “The public’s reaction has been overwhelming. Our
clients fall in love with the dogs every
Visit Mold Detection
Services, Inc.’s website at www.mdsdog.com.