Students in southwestern Connecticut raise money to help land mine-sniffing dogs

Land mines are weapons of terror used in over 70 countries around the world. (4/29/14)

STAMFORD - Students across southwestern Connecticut have been making a difference overseas by raising money for a program that trains dogs to detect land mines and save lives.

Kimberly McCasland says land mines are weapons of terror used in over 70 countries around the world. McCasland helps run the Children Against Mines program, where students raise money to train dogs how to sniff out land mines.

Fairfield County has 18 schools that are involved in CHAMPS, including North Mianus School in Greenwich. The dogs cost $20,000-$25,000 to train. Teacher Julie Cofone says North Mianus has raised over $8,000 to date.

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As part of the program, students have video calls with other students in countries affected by land mines, including Iraq and Yemen.

McCasland says students in southwestern Connecticut have raised the most money for the program in the U.S. with about $200,000. Connecticut students are now funding their ninth land mine-detecting dog.

The latest dog has been named Hawk, after the mascot at the North Mianus School.

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