Karnataka mulls induction of stray dogs into cop squad

 In case the plan, which is in its nascent stage, fructifies, it will be a certain drift from the prevalent norm of inducting high pedigree dogs in the police force. Representative image/Pixabay

Karnataka is mulling over prospects of induction of stray dogs in its elite police canine squad. In case the plan which is in its nascent stage fructifies, it will be a certain drift from the prevalent norm of inducting high pedigree dogs in the police force.

Stray dogs will eventually be deployed for search, rescue and tracking duties. Karnataka Director General of Police (DGP) Nelamani Raju has been briefed about the prospects of stray dogs in the police force. If the initiative on stray dogs takes wings, it will also be symbolic in many ways to goad citizens towards adopting a stray.

The northern hill state of Uttarakhand is the first state in the country to have inducted stray dogs in its police dog squad. These stray canines are currently undergoing a mandatory 3-month induction training in the hill state and are likely to join active duty in the police force in the next few weeks, Inspector General of Police (Modernisation), Uttarakhand, Sanjay Gunjyal said talking to DH over the phone this morning.

A meeting of top police officials from various states was held in New Delhi about a fortnight ago on disaster management. Sanjay Gunjyal said Uttarakhand’s experiment with stray dogs was discussed in the meeting since the role of dogs in search and rescue operations remains relevant. “Karnataka DGP and senior police officials from other states showed keen interest in our experiment with stray dogs in frontline police duties performed only by high breed canines. I briefed them about the encouraging results during the training of these strays,” 

Sanjay Gunjyal said. The IGP said Karnataka and other states were inquisitive to know if the pilot project could be replicated in their states. 

The experiment with stray dogs accidentally started in Uttarakhand with a then 8-month old stray dog found on the outskirts of capital town Dehradun. Incidentally, the stray dog was rescued and adopted by the daughter of a sub-inspector who is heading the dog squad. During one of the meetings on sourcing high pedigree dogs, the prospects of stray dogs in the force were discussed and the idea was approved. One of them was named ‘Thenga’ who is now giving tough competition to other elite dogs in the squad, the IGP said. “Thenga would jump an obstacle up to 4-feet in height, which was more than what high pedigree police dogs could do,” sources said. 

Hill state of Himachal Pradesh has come up with a plan to exempt parking fee and garbage disposal fee for residents in Shimla who adopt a stray dog.       

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