- ASP Syeda Shehrbano Naqvi’s compassion and concern for the fate of retired sniffer dogs led to the policy rethink and partnership with NGOs for rescue and adoption.
- Punjab Police retires service dogs with honour, changing their previous practice of euthanizing them after eight years of service.
- The police’s canine unit primarily consists of non-aggressive Labradors and the retired dogs are now offered a chance to find new loving homes through adoption ceremonies.
The Punjab Police has been in the spotlight mostly due to their tough handling of crimes on a daily basis. However, recently, they made headlines for a positive reason – the decision to retire their service dogs with great honour.
In the past, these loyal animals were euthanized after serving for eight years, leading to criticism from civil society and animal rights activists.
ASP Syeda Shehrbano Naqvi’s compassion and determination led to a policy rethink, paving the way for a more respectful retirement for these valuable canine officers.
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The Crucial Role of Police Dogs in Security
Police dogs are an essential part of security measures in high-alert areas. Trained to detect explosives, they serve as the final security filter after human frisking, searching, and sweeping. ASP Naqvi highlights their reliability and trustworthiness, both in Punjab and around the world, making them instrumental in safeguarding public spaces.
A Change of Heart: From Euthanasia to Second Chances
ASP Syeda Shehrbano ‘s love for animals, nurtured since her school days, played a significant role in her concern for retired sniffer dogs. Witnessing dogs during night patrols made her more empathetic towards their fate after retirement. The Punjab Police Special Branch, under her guidance, recognized the value of these animals and established over 60 kennels for their training.
Refusing to adopt the practice of euthanizing retired sniffer dogs, ASP Naqvi took the matter to the top boss, Dr. Usman Anwar, the Inspector General. As a result, the Police Department decided to partner with non-governmental organizations (NGOs) working for animal rescue and adoption, offering these brave canines a second chance at life. The retired dogs were also honoured with certificates of commendation for their dedicated service.
The Care and Well-being of Police Dogs
The police’s canine unit primarily consists of Labradors due to their non-aggressive nature. Dr. Muhammad Usman Asghar, the chief supervisor at the Police Dogs Breeding Centre and Training School, ensures that the animals receive high-quality care and nutrition, verified by the University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences (UVAS).
To prevent serious health issues, sniffer dogs undergo thorough physical examinations after every event. Their injuries, no matter how minor, are treated with utmost seriousness, as their job often involves navigating challenging environments.
A Change in Policy for a Respectable Retirement
Previously, the Police Department would cull retired sniffer dogs once they lost their eyesight. However, the Police Special Branch changed this practice, providing an honourable exit for these brave canines. A Standing Order of the Special Branch from 2011 emphasizes the extraordinary sense of smell possessed by sniffer dogs, making them indispensable in various security operations.
Adopting Retired Police Sniffer Dogs
To be a part of the police force, a sniffer dog must be at least one year old and undergo rigorous training. Their pedigree record and parents’ health history are carefully examined to ensure the best candidates for police work. Proper nutrition and rest are provided to maintain their health and performance.
Recognizing the value of these animals, Dr. Anwar emphasizes that retired police dogs deserve to lead respectable lives. Recently, the Police Dogs Breeding Centre and Training School held an adoption ceremony for these retired canines.
Through a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Punjab Police and an animal rights organization, interested individuals became new owners of these loyal companions.
The ceremony was attended by Dr. Anwar, Additional IG (Special Branch) Zulfiqar Hameed, SSP (Admin) Muntazir Mehdi, ASP Naqvi, chief supervisor Dr. Asghar, representatives from JFK Animal Rescue and Shelter, and the handlers and trainers of the service dogs in the Punjab Police.
This compassionate initiative ensures that these retired sniffer dogs find loving homes after their dedicated service to society.
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