Eight year old mine detection dog (MDD), Rico Cosby has been named as the next canine ambassador dog for The Marshall Legacy Institute (MLI). In early June, MDD Rico traveled to the United States after a special ceremony to officially retire him from his life-saving work in Bosnia and Herzegovina. He will take time to adjust to his new surroundings and then train to serve as MLI's Canine Ambassador dog. Rico will travel to schools, companies, and organizations to raise awareness of the landmine issue.
MDD Rico Cosby was sponsored by school children at the New Brunswick School in Greenwich, Connecticut. A student, Henry Harris, raised funds by riding his bike across the United States, and the name Cosby was after a beloved teacher at the school. In 2015 MDD Cosby was assigned to work in Armenia. He was named Rico by his handler at the time. In 2017 Rico was reassigned to the Federal Administration of Civil Protection (FACP) in Bosnia and Herzegovina where he served for the past five years.
During his career, Rico and his handler contributed to the clearance of more than 500,000 square meters of land and saved countless lives by sniffing out landmines. Mine detection dogs are among the most highly trained dogs in the world. They are able to locate landmines hidden just below the surface of the ground using their amazing sense of smell. The dogs are able to clear land three times faster than a human deminer or a metal detector.
The Marshall Legacy Institute has sponsored more than 275 mine detection dogs working in countries such as Kurdistan, Sri Lanka, Yemen, Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Iraq. 46 of the life-saving dogs provided by MLI have been donated by the efforts of school children in the United States.
Rico traveled from Bosnia and Herzegovina to Turkey to the United States. He has spent his first few days resting and acclimating to his new surroundings. He will begin training next week and will be prepared to visit schools interested in learning more about landmines and how they can become part of the solution by connecting with young people from mine-affected countries. If you are interested in learning about MLI's free educational programs, please contact the Director of Educational Programs at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please follow Rico on Instagram and Facebook @mddrico.