Twenty new puppies joined the Kerala Police dog squad on Monday morning. Twelve senior dogs, that completed its service, retired on the same day. Both events happened at the police headquarters in Thiruvananthapuram where Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan came as the chief guest, just before he went to attend the protest against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, organised jointly by the ruling and opposition parties of the state.
The 20 new puppies inducted into the squad, called K9, are from four breeds -- Belgian Malinois, Beagle, Chippiparai and Kanni. Three of the puppies were contributed by the public. They will be trained in the tracker and sniffer categories, for rescue service and to detect explosives. They will also be trained in detecting drugs and finding people who go missing. Other training programmes include sniffing out proofs, attacking and helping those wanted by the police.
The retired dogs are moving to Vishranthi, a retirement home for dogs, built at the Kerala Police Academy in Thrissur. The retirement home, developed under the initiative of state Police Chief Loknath Behera, has many facilities including a recreation room for dogs to play.
Dog squads have been a part of Kerala Police for 60 years now. The state police will be conducting an annual competition for dogs of the K9 Squad, for best sniffer dog, tracker dog, patrol dog and rescue dog. The winners will get gold medals, according to a report by The New Indian Express.
‚ÄúThe State Nodal Officer of K9 Squad will conduct a competition among the dogs to find out the best sniffer dogs, tracker dogs, rescue dogs and patrol dogs every year, in October so that they can be awarded medals on Kerala Piravi day which falls on November 1. Such best dogs will be entitled to wear the Kerala Police Canine Medal on their jacket,‚ÄĚ an order issued by Behera said.
(Photos by Sreekesh Raveendran Nair)