Sherlock the beagle is the friendly, hard-working secret weapon of the KLM Royal Dutch Airlines lost-and-found department at the Amsterdam airport.
When personal items are abandoned or misplaced on a plane, the canine gets a good sniff of each valuable such as a smartphone and then, via scent, tracks down the rightful owner who might still be in the airport concourse. From time to time, Sherlock apparently delivers a passenger’s abandoned belongings contained in his backpack even before he or she realizes anything is missing, which is part of KLM’s main goal of returning an item or items as fast as possible.
According to the New York Daily News, “Beagles rank right up with bloodhounds when it comes to their sense of smell, and are a common breed found on search and rescue teams.”
Thanks to Sherlock’s detective skills, the human staff’s examination of each plane’s manifest, and the use of social media, KLM’s lost-and-found team at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol reunites passengers with their lost or forgotten personal possessions about 80 percent of the time, the airline claims.
“The energetic beagle can be seen bounding through the airport with mobiles and headphones tucked in his pouch and even carrying stuffed toys back to their rightful owners,” London’s Daily Mail reports.
Sherlock’s handler explained that the pooch received training for “muscle strength, endurance, and of course, socialization.” He added, “When you see the reactions of the passengers, that really is amazing.”
Selfies with Sherlock have also become popular with travelers at the airport.
About the lost-and-found beagle, CNN quips that “After seeing this achingly adorable video of KLM’s newest employee in action you might be tempted to leave your gadgets behind on your next flight into Amsterdam.”
Added The Celebrity Cafe, “Just when you think there’s no reason to be happy about the hassle of plane travel, KLM, Dutch Royal Airways, has found a way to put smiles on their passengers’ faces.”
Check out the video embedded below.
The U.S. Department of Agricultural apparently uses beagles to detect contraband food at a number of international airports, but no U.S. airline has yet to use the breed for lost-and-found purposes.
KLM indicates that it receives 40,000 questions every week via social media, many of which consist of queries about lost items. Watch the following video about Sherlock, the KLM lost-and found beagle.
Added: Too good to be true? KLM now admits that Sherlock the beagle is a mascot and not a permanent member of the the airline’s lost-and-found team and that the video was just part of an agency-created ad campaign. “The dog is purely used to symbolize the active way in which the team will search for owners and unite them with their lost possessions,” a KLM representative said.