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Mumbai’s airport dog squad heroes retire to Virar farm house after 10 years of service

The six-acre farm at Virar is home to around 300 animals, of which 60 are dogs.

mumbai Updated: Aug 29, 2017 11:24 IST
Neha LM Tripathi
Neha LM Tripathi
Hindustan Times
Mumbai news,airport dog squad,service dogs
Taison, Linovo and Deena retired in March, but the search for a suitable retirement home took time.(HT Photo)

Three aces of the Mumbai airport’s dog squad, whose last big job was checking out a bomb scare on a flight to Kuala Lumpur in January, on Sunday moved to their retirement home, a farm house in Virar, after 10 years of dedicated service.

The three Labradors, Taison, Linovo, and Deena, the last named a female, retired in March but the search for a suitable retirement home took time. They authorities finally zeroed in on Fiza farms, which has a good record of looking after dogs that had served security forces.

Shah’s Fizza farms at Virar has been home to four 26/11 sniffer dogs — Max, Sultan, Tiger and Caesar — who have now passed away. They were all part of Mumbai police’s Goregaon bomb squad.

The six-acre farm at Virar is home to around 300 animals, of which 60 are dogs.

Apart from CISF dogs, the farm has also housed Railway Protection Force and Mumbai police dogs. Shah said timely health check-ups ensure these dogs remain fit even after retirement.

The three dogs, who in 2014 had sniffed their way through the vast Terminal 2 complex before the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) moved in, will spend the rest of their lives at Fiza farms.

Labradors can live up to 14 years of age. Born in 2007, the dogs were bought by the CISF when they were two months old. They were then sent for six months of training to the National Training Centre for dogs in Tekanpur, Gwalior. Dogs with the security forces retire after 10 years of service.

After the three retired, the Mumbai unit of the CISF currently has 14 dogs — 13 labradors and one Cocker Spaniel.

“We prefer handing over the retired dogs to their handlers so that proper care is taken of them. However, since the handlers are on duty with other dogs, they may not be able to dedicate much time to the retired canines.

Other options were then explored and Fiza Farms was chosen,” explained a CISF official. On Sunday, the reactions of the three dogs was very different – Deena refused to leave her handler, Lenovo sat quietly in a corner, while Taison settled right in once he realized he was going to stay.

“The dogs are remembered as the most active in the unit,” said, KN Tripathy, deputy inspector general of CISF, Mumbai airport.

First Published: Aug 29, 2017 11:12 IST