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4 dogs off to Pune to train for bomb squad

india Updated: Feb 23, 2009 01:49 IST
Megha Sood
Megha Sood
Hindustan Times
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Lucky, Snowy, Rax and Brownie will succeed their forefathers, now old and ready to retire.

After for 48 weeks of intensive training, the four-legged officers will be ready for duty in August. Lucky, Snowy, Rax and Brownie are the four young Labradors which the Bomb Detection and Disposal Squad (BBDS) have sent to Pune for training in explosive detection. After the young dogs are recruited, the old ones would hang their boots after completing 10 years of service in the squad.

“There are many dogs in the squad who have become old and need to retire after a long service. We have recruited their young ones to replace them so that they can rest,” said Police Inspector A. Khollam from the bomb squad.

The four dogs are descendants of veteran bomb detectors of BBDS. They accompany the bomb disposal squad and sniff out any kind of explosive. The Labradors’ sniffing ability is 40 per cent more than humans.

“Breed matters a lot. There are about 350 original breeds of dogs that the Indian police use. The Maharashtra police, however, recruit Labradors according to the climate here,” Khollam said.

The four dogs will be trained in obedience (to obey orders including saluting a senior officer) and actual work — to search and detect explosives and signal if they find any.

“The new dogs are grandchildren of our earlier ‘officers’ who we would allow to retire. We would probably donate them to organisations who would take care of them,” added Khollam.

“The four would be ready to join the force before the Ganpati festival in August,” he added.

“The future soldiers of BBDS would also be taught how to search for an explosive in crowded places. These dogs would be stationed at entry spots of Ganesh mandals and even detect suspicious persons entering the pandals,” said Khollam, who is eagerly waiting for the four ‘officers’ to complete their training and join the squad.