K9 units help keep us safe every day in many ways. From sniffing out weapons and drugs, to tracing the paths of people, each dog helps the police in every job. The relationship between a dog and its handler can be special.
Sgt David Evans from Shropshire recently launched a bid to have police dog Ivy retire alongside him, after he worked with the force for over 30 years and was Ivy’s handler for four. He offered to cover the cost of replacing her, after he and his family built a close bond with the German Shepherd. His petition gathered over 35,000 signatures from around the world but was ultimately rejected by West Mercia police. His family have said that they will not give up the fight.
Beloved K9s and police dogs have a special place in our heart too. Here are 4 examples of how police dogs have saved the day for us:
- Zanjeer the Golden Retriever-Labrador
12 blasts tore through Mumbai in March 1993, killing more than 250 people and injuring 713. Zanjeer saved countless more lives after sniffing out 3329 kg of RDX explosives, 600 detonators, 249 hand grenades, and more than 6000 rounds of live ammunition, and stopping three more bomb blasts. Over his career, Zanjeer would go on to find another 175 petrol bombs, 57 country-made bombs, 11 military bombs, 600 detonators, and more than 200 grenades. He died in November 2000 because of bone cancer, at the age of 8 years. He was given a burial with full state honours.
- Trakr the German Shepherd
Trakr was a hero at Ground Zero, searching out the last human survivor of the horrific 9/11 terrorist attacks. He found the survivor buried under 30ft of unstable debris. He was named one of Time Magazine’s most heroic animals. Trakr suffered from a neurological degenerative disorder and died in 2009 at the age of 14. His DNA was used to clone him, producing 5 puppies. Trakr’s legacy lives on!
- Treo the Labrador
Treo has been named a war hero after serving with the British Military and detecting hidden bombs in the Helmand province in 2008. He saved numerous lives and was given the Dickin award, which is the highest honour for any animal in Britain. He is now retired.
- Gander the Newfoundland
Gander served in WW2 on behalf of Canada. He saved lives on numerous occasions. He turned back enemy advances to save the lives of wounded troops on the front line. He would die on the front line unfortunately, when a Japanese hand grenade that he picked up to take it back towards the enemy exploded. He was also given the Dickin award posthumously.