Monday, August 23, 2010
In this 2000 photo provided by SICS (Scuola Italiana Cani Salvataggio - Italian School of Canine Lifeguards), lifeguard dogs of the Italian school perform a makeshift rescue operation at an international lifeguard meeting in Winterbach, Germany. Hundreds of specially trained dogs form Italy's corps of canine lifeguards, deployed each summer to help swimmers who get into trouble in the nation's popular seas. Unlike their human counterparts, these life-dogs can easily jump from helicopters and speeding boats to reach swimmers in need of a rescue. With millions flocking to Italy's crowded beaches each summer, the Italian Coast Guard says it rescues about 3,000 people every year — and their canine helpers are credited with saving several lives.
(AP Photo/Courtesy of Italian School of Canine Lifeguards.)