Shyam, a sniffer dog loses battle to cancer

Shyam, a sniffer dog loses battle to cancer

Pall of gloom descended on the dog squad, in the city, on Wednesday, following the death of one of its four-legged member.

Shyam, one of the 10 members of the squad attached to the City Police, died of prolonged illness. A labrador retriever breed, it was aged six years. He was trained to detect explosives and was last seen in action, when a minor fire broke out at Maharaja’s Junior College in the city, where the ballot boxes of the recently held Gram Panchayat elections had been kept in a strong room.

According to the city armed reserve (CAR) police authorities, where a dedicated dog house for the canine squad was built last year, Shyam was diagnosed of throat cancer six months ago. Shyam, who was frequently falling ill, had been admitted to a hospital in Bengaluru, where a X-ray test was conducted.

According to the report, he was in the final stage of the disease and his chances for recovery were less. So, Shyam was brought to Mysuru on June 20. It had refused to take food since then. On the early hours of Wednesday, Shyam vomited before breathing its last.

It was an unbearable loss, both for the handlers and other canines, with the latter huddled to a corner for sometime. The carcass of Shyam was buried at a vacant space opposite the dog house, with due respect.

Shyam had been inducted into the city police wing six years ago, in 2009. He underwent initial training at the Police Dog Training Centre, in Audogodi, Bengaluru, for nine months.

Shyam was being handled by Sundaresh and Sudeep and was put on the explosives wing along with Hari and Seema, the other dogs. Whenever there was a VIP visit to the city, the canine was taken on a routine inspection, besides prominent transit points like bus stands and railway stations among others.

According to its handler Sundaresh, “Never did Shyam err in his job. Similarly, whenever there were bomb calls (that later turned out to be hoax), Shyam was on the trot”.

Following Shyam’s death, the dog squad has been reduced to nine, with Ganesh and Hero (narcotics detection), Bheema and Bhyra, along with three puppies that were recently inducted into the force.

ACP (CAR) Mallikarjunapa said, “As is the procedure, a proposal will be sent to Police Commissioner B Dayananda to induct another dog to the squad”.

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