Sniffer dog heroes’ pension: Rakesh Maria to take up issue with Maharashtra govt

  • Debasish Panigrahi, Hindustan Times, Mumbai
  • Updated: Mar 23, 2015 16:36 IST

The proposal to grant sniffer dogs of the Mumbai police’s Bomb Detection and Disposal Squad (BDDS) a pension to take care of their post-retirement needs, which has been gathering dust in the Maharashtra state home department since August last year, may finally see of day.

Following HT’s report on Sunday exposing the plight of retired sniffer dogs in the absence of monetary sanction, Mumbai police commissioner Rakesh Maria said he would take up the matter on priority basis. Two of the canines in question are Max and Caesar, who risked their lives to save others during the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks.

“Tomorrow I am going to find a way to solve the problem. I am going to take up the issue with the government. Hopefully, the proposal will come through,” Maria told HT on Sunday.

Meanwhile, a city-based NGO has volunteered to adopt the two aging sniffer dogs. “We will be presenting the NGO’s proposal to higher-ups in the department, who will take a call,” said an officer from the squad.

Max and Caesar, along with Prince, had helped security personnel detect three RDX devices and 18 hand grenades during the 2008 attacks on the city. While Prince died last year, Max and Caesar live on leftovers at the BDDS kennel near LT Marg police station, following their retirement in August last year. In the absence of money for their needs, the expense for their food and health care is drawn from the budget allocated to the other 10 dogs at the kennel. Staff members pool in money for a sweeper to clean the kennel regularly.

Sniffer dogs in the service are paid Rs15,000 a month, which is spent on their food and medical expenses.

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