Dogs have long been used to sniff out drugs at gigs but now bands like Metallica and Tool are using canines to detect COVID-19. 

The metal legends have recruited dogs specially trained to sniff for traces of the virus in members of their crew or anyone else who happens to be backstage, as reported by Rolling Stone.

Metallica hired Bio Detection K9, an Ohio-based firm, to do so at its recent shows in Fort Lauderdale and Atlanta, as well as their huge 40th anniversary shows in San Francisco.

Bio Detection K9 has been using dogs to detect viruses, bacteria, and fungus for over a decade, long before the onset of COVID-19. Since the pandemic, though, the company has focused efforts on training their dogs to detect COVID instead. Their dogs are trained specifically to search for COVID and its numerous strains, and know not to respond to simple flus and colds.

And it sounds like Bio Detection K9’s canines are doing their job well. “So far, knock on wood, the dogs have been knocking it out of the park,” John Peets of Q Prime, the management company that represents Metallica, said. “We haven’t had a dog miss anybody.”

The only downside is that the dogs aren’t able to search for the virus within large crowds of people, only in manageable small groups.

“We don’t search whole stadiums; that is not what we are there for,” Shawn Reed, the director of training and operations for Bio Detection K9, explained to SWVA Today. “I don’t take a dog and search a crowd of 60,000 people.”

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Let’s hope more artists can follow the example of Metallica and make use of such dogs to aid in the recovery of the live music industry as the pandemic continues to rage on.

For more on this topic, follow the Metal Observer or the Live Music Observer.

Check out footage of Metallica’s 40th anniversary concert:

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