Furry friend killed in conflict

Nova and her handler  enjoy a break.
Nova and her handler enjoy a break.

THE volunteers at Sunshine Coast Animal Refuge will never forget Nova's big brown eyes and faithful smile.

The moment she walked through the door they knew she was destined for big things, and soon Nova was “recruited” by the Australian Defence Force as a bomb-detection dog to join the Townsville-based 3rd Combat Engineer Regiment.

Sadly, two-year-old Nova was injured last Friday when hit by a military vehicle at Camp Holland, in Afghanistan's Ozuzgan Province, during a training exercise. Medical personnel tried to save her, but she was too badly hurt and had to be put down.

Australian soldiers in Afghanistan gathered last weekend to conduct a farewell ceremony in honour of their four-legged mate.

Refuge president Rosy Symons said Nova would be sadly missed.

“Nova was very intelligent and a pleasure to have around,” she said.

The volunteers noticed how ball crazy she was and knew she would be perfect for the army's purposes.

Nova was trained at the School of Military Engineering in Moorebank, NSW, to seek out explosives.

Dogs' highly sensitive noses enable them to detect minute quantities of explosives.

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