Detector dog ‘Opelika’ to make guest appearance at Opelika City Council meeting Oct. 20

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"Opelika," a detector dog in training in Auburn University's Canine Performance Sciences, or CPS, program, will be at the Opelika City Council meeting Tuesday, Oct. 20, at 7 p.m. in the City Hall's Council Chambers, 204 S. 7th St. This will be the canine's second visit to a city council meeting, during which Mayor Gary Fuller and members of the city council will get an update on her training.

The 11-month-old canine named in honor of the city is nearing the completion of her training in the CPS program, part of Auburn's College of Veterinary Medicine. Opelika's mother, Lily, will also attend the council meeting.

CPS staff will give a short overview of her training, including details of her time in the CPS prison training program, where she was paired with an inmate who trained her in the basics of detection work.

Opelika is currently completing her "finishing school" and final evaluation by CPS staff before heading out into the canine work force. Although her final evaluation is yet to be done, "Opelika" has met or exceeded expectations to date and may become an explosive detector dog working with any number of federal or law enforcement agencies, focusing on the detection of explosives. The next phase of her training will be in Anniston at the AMK9 Academy, where many of the CPS program's dogs undergo final training.

Opelika has grown considerably and learned much about detection work since her first visit to the city council in January, when the city council issued a proclamation of recognition for the CPS program's internationally recognized status as a center of excellence for detector dog breeding, training and research.

Auburn University is a nationally ranked land grant institution recognized for its commitment to world-class scholarship, interdisciplinary research with an elite, top-tier Carnegie R1 classification, life-changing outreach with Carnegie’s Community Engagement designation and an undergraduate education experience second to none. Auburn is home to more than 30,000 students, and its faculty and research partners collaborate to develop and deliver meaningful scholarship, science and technology-based advancements that meet pressing regional, national and global needs. Auburn’s commitment to active student engagement, professional success and public/private partnership drives a growing reputation for outreach and extension that delivers broad economic, health and societal impact.