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Rat-catching dog makes more money than owner

TAIPEI, Taiwan — A dog with a special skill for finding and catching rodents in farm fields in southwestern Taiwan is able to earn about NT$500,000 a year, more than the annual income of its master.

Hung Tsao-ching, who works as an electrician and plumber in Putze of Chiayi County, said his female dog named “Blackie” can catch more than 10,000 rats each year.

Blackie is an indigenous dog that can smell and detect rats hiding underground as deep as one meter. After barking at holes in the field to rat out the rodents, the dog can chase and swiftly catch the preys in just 10 to 15 seconds, according to Hung.

The vast sugar can fields are the major “battleground” for Blackie.

Hung said he normally leads the dog to the dry farmland after sugar canes are harvested with open fields.

He would sell the larger rats to friends who put the rat meat on the table in restaurants in the rural areas of southern Taiwan.

The money earned by Blackie often reaches around NT$500,000, more than his own income per year, Hung said.

Hung said he keeps another rat-catching dog named “Mike” but the dog's performance lags far behind that of Blackie, he added.

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