Pooper Snooper

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Pooper Snooper
Dog detectives? Thanks to superior sniffers, some pups learn to help scientists investigate and track endangered animals. The snoopers’ clue? Poop. Dogs that are part of wildlife detective teams are trained to catch the scent of wild animal poop (scat) so that scientists can learn about these animals without luring or trapping them. Like many pooper snoopers, Sampson, the dog in this book, was once a shelter dog, too hyper and ball crazy for families. That energy and ball drive is what makes him such a good dog detective. He is trained on many species, from salamanders to bears, but his goal is always the same. Find the scat and get the ball!

Written by Jennifer Keats Curtis   & Julianne Ubigau, Illustrated by Phyllis Saroff
32 pg, 8.5 X10, Ages 5 - 8, Grades 3 - 5, Lexile: 960, F&P: P
Paperback 9781643518237 $11.95  
Spanish Paperback 9781638170808 $11.95  
EBook 9781643518657 Purchase Here
Spanish EBook 9781638170877 Purchase Here
Keywords:   endangered animals, environmental education, scientists, dog detective
Animals in the book:   dogs, Pacific pocket mice
Vetters:   Thanks to Julianne Ubigau, a handler with Conservation Canines, for verifying the information in this book.


★ A fascinating story that strikes just the right tone of education and fun. - Kirkus Reviews

"A dog’s nose helps to locate and sniff out the poop (scat) of a Pacific pocket mouse once thought to be extinct." - NSTA Outstanding Science Trade Books for Students K-12: 2022

"Detective doggos at your service! These poop-sniffing dog detectives are instrumental in helping researchers track and learn more about endangered animals. Sampson, the star of Pooper Snooper, is a shelter dog adopted and trained to catch the scent of wild animal poop, so researchers can track and research them without trapping them. Sampson can locate the scat for a pocket mouse – about a third the size of a human eyelash! – much more easily than a researcher can; when he finds what he’s looking for, he gets his reward: a shiny red ball! Trained to track different animals, Sampson works in all sorts of conditions, and stays focused on his task so he can enjoy his toy. Illustrations focus on action shots and close-ups of Sampson’s nose catching a scent. The For Creative Minds section offers information on the Pacific Packet Mouse, previously believed to be extinct; a word on dogs’ senses of smell, and a Q&A with a research scientist. An interesting look at a different career!" - Mom Read It

Author/Illustrator Info:

Award-winning Jennifer Keats Curtis has penned numerous stories about animals, including Creek Critters, Kali's Story: An Orphaned Polar Bear Rescue (Children's Choice Book Award Winner) and After A While Crocodile: Alexa’s Diary (NSTA/CBC Outstanding Science Trade Books for Children), with co-author Dr. Brady Barr of Nat Geo Wild's Dangerous Encounter, Baby Bear's Adoption with wildlife biologists at Michigan's DNR, River Rescue with Tri-State Bird Rescue & Research, Inc.; and Moonlight Crab Count with co-author Dr. Neeti Bathala. The long-time writer's other recent books include The Lizard Lady, with co-author Dr. Nicole Angeli, Maggie: Alaska's Last Elephant and the Animal Helpers series. When not writing, Jennifer can be found among students and teachers, talking about literacy and conservation.

Julianne Ubigau has been a handler with Conservation Canines since 2006. Between 2008-1019, she and her loyal dog, Sampson, located wildlife scat of species that ranged from the tiny Pacific pocket mice to the giant Grizzly bear. More than 20 other targets included Jemez Mountain Salamanders, wolves, cougars, environmental pollutants, and an invasive plant called garlic mustard. Diversified and highly experienced as dog-handler team, Sampson and Julianne specialized in pilot studies that push the boundaries of traditional canine detection work and conservation research. Today Julianne continues her research with Jasper, a lab mix rescue. He is trained on wolf, cougar, bobcat, fisher, marten, garlic mustard, and PCB (polychlorinated biphenyls). While Jasper and Julianne love working in the field, they also love meeting new people. After completing a Masters in Teaching, Julianne is also sharing her passion for science—and Jasper’s work— in classrooms. She is developing an outreach education program as part of the Center for Conservation Biology.

Since childhood, Phyllis Saroff has brought together her loves of science and art. In addition to Creek Critters, Maggie: Alaska's Last Elephant, Vivian and the Legend of the Hoodoos, Tuktuk: Tundra Tale and Sounds of the Savanna for Arbordale, Phyllis has illustrated nonfiction books about the natural world such as Teeth and Mary Anning: Fossil Hunter. She also illustrates for children's magazines, wayside signs and other educational material. Phyllis works digitally and with oil paint. Phyllis lives in Maryland with her husband and two dogs. Visit her website at saroffillustration.com.


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