Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, September 7
After having made dogs an integral part of the force, the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) is now setting up a retirement home for its K-9 veterans, who are no longer fit for active duty, where they can be cared for.
“A case for establishing a retirement home for our dogs is under process at force headquarters and it is expected to come up at the ITBP’s National Dog Training Centre at Bhanu this year,” an ITBP officer said.
At present, dogs that are no longer to be used for operational or security duties due to old age or injury are sent to an ITBP unit where veterinary care is available and where they can pass the rest of their life peacefully.
The ITBP uses dogs for border patrolling as well as in internal security duties. Besides tracking humans, they are also trained to storm into rooms and vehicles, neutralise and restrain intruders and armed persons, detect explosives and narcotics and assist in search and rescue operations.
More recently, the ITBP raised a new unit of assault dogs that have been trained to work in a pack of four to pin down an adversary. This means that all four dogs in the pack will go after a single adversary who is considered to be a threat.
The ITBP, which claims this to be the first unit of its kind in the world, plans to train a total of 30 such dogs of the Belgian Malinois and the German Shepherd breeds and deploy them in highly sensitive areas.
“Such animals are placed on a rehabilitation register and given a sheltered appointment where they can also be used for training dog handlers and veterinary staff,” said the officer.
“Our K-9s are highly valuable assets who have rendered Yeoman’s service, especially during anti-naxal and anti-terrorist operations. It becomes the responsibility of the force to care for them in the twilight of their life,” he added.
According to the ITBP sources, there are at present 30 “retired” dogs on its rolls living in various units, where they are groomed and exercised regularly and provided vet care. These dogs are entitled to 70 per cent of the ration scale of active duty K-9s.
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