Labrador Molly becomes ‘celebrity’ in seaside town thanks to her unique talent

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A littler-picking labrador has proved she’s a true retriever after collecting 250,000 pieces of rubbish from her local beach.

Pooch Molly has developed such a special bond with owner Fliss she has been able to train her to find plastic bottles, ropes, spades, buckets, and toys.

And the inseparable duo have become famous in Scarborough for their ongoing efforts cleaning up the coastline 365 days a year.

Hailing her furry friend, Fliss, 35, said: “I can’t take credit for her great work, she’s the best dog and it’s really just the way she is.

“She’s my best bud, we work together, live together, play together, she’s at my side literally all the time. If I spent this much time with a human we would have fallen out by now, but the bond between a dog and their owner just gets stronger over time.

“She’s super chilled, always up for an adventure and has to say hello to every single person and dog she meets. Molly is just a brilliant dog, I often wonder how I got so lucky, she has a beautiful, happy soul and has changed my life for the better.

“The funny thing is she still doesn’t know the difference between an empty discarded bottle and a bottle that is still full which has led to some interesting situations.

“She’ll sometimes come back to me with a full bottle and I’ll look across the beach and there’ll be a confused person wondering why this dog has just stolen their drink.

“Her intentions are good though, and she’s just trying to do the right thing. Thankfully no one ever gets angry because she’s so cute!”

Fliss said Molly picks up so many pieces of litter every day, the items have started to take over her home and workplace. She explained: “I could probably fill a wheelie bin every week or two with what we collect. At one point my garage was probably 60% filled with beach litter waiting to be distributed to local artists for use in artwork/sculptures etc.

“I also save any buckets/spades/beach toys that can be reused, and let tourists borrow them for the day – so my shop also has a couple of hundred of these which takes up quite a bit of space.”

Fliss has shared her inspiring story as part of IAMS’ latest campaign celebrating the magic of pets and the individuality of each animal.

She said Molly loves tucking into her breakfast bowl before a busy day doing her extra special job for the community.

“It’s so important to give dogs a healthy, nutritious and balanced diet, which will keep them going all day!” she told us.

“Molly needs it when she’s up and down the beach – the exercise is great for her as well.” 

IAMS champion the joy of your pet’s healthy vitality. It’s not simply visible health or your dog’s happiness; it is a powerful combination of the two together. And that’s why IAMS want to help the nation’s pets live healthy, active and happy lives through the expert nutrition they truly enjoy. No compromise.

Fliss moved to the seaside in 2017 where she opened a bath and skincare shop – but she couldn’t believe how much litter she found left “senselessly” on the beach and said she was shocked and appalled by the “unavoidable” amount of litter she found while taking Molly for walks

She added: “Molly’s such a good girl and she’s never had any issues unless she spots a tennis ball – tennis balls take precedence over everything.

“We get stopped all the time by people who think it’s adorable that she’s cleaning. She gets so much attention and she loves it, she knows she’s a bit of a star.

“Unfortunately Molly can’t clean the beach on her own, but she’s trying.

“We want to get people involved or at least make them think twice before disposing of their litter so carelessly.

“It’s particularly alarming on the beach because people will drop rubbish in the sand, and then it’s a battle against the tides to beat them to it.

“Once the tide comes in the litter is gone and will make its way into the sea and threaten our marine life.

“If you’re a business here, who relies on people coming to the beach, I think you’ve got a responsibility to protect it.”

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