Ghaziabad: NDRF dogs get emotional send-off on retirement
The dogs, which were part of many search and rescue missions of the NDRF, were auctionednoida Updated: Oct 14, 2017 22:18 IST
It was a ceremonial but emotional retirement for Tanu and Tina, as jawans from the eighth battalion of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) went up to the main gate of the campus to see off the two dogs who were auctioned on Saturday.
The three female dogs, Tanu, Tina and Channo, which completed their service with the battalion, were put on the auction block at the eighth battalion of the NDRF at Govindpuram in Ghaziabad.
The two Labradors, Tanu and Tina, went for a song at ₹1,650 and ₹1,100 respectively at the auction. Their handlers said that it was an emotional moment to see off their trained and specialised friends from a disciplined environment to the outside world.
“We brought them up when they were puppies and a lot of hard work goes into training them. Here, they have acquired specialised training for search and rescue and are part of NDRF teams whenever they called out for missions,” Radhe Krishna, one of the handlers, said.
“On the day they move out, we will garland them and all jawans will see them off till the main gate of the campus. It is very emotional moment for us to send them off. We have interacted with their purchasers and told them their habits and how to handle them. We will still visit and see to it that they are being properly looked after. I am reminded of an incident when one of our auctioned dogs, Golu, was kept with buffaloes and was ailing with ticks all over his body. We regularly visited him and also took him to the doctor for as long as he lived,” he added.
The specialised dogs at NDRF are kept in air-conditioned kennels and are put on a proper diet. According to estimates, the force spends nearly ₹6000-₹7000 per month for the welfare of each of the dogs serving the force.
“Apart from the monthly expenses, they are regularly trained and we also procure equipment for the purpose. They are our friends and team members. Tanu and Tina also went to Nepal to help rescue earthquake victims. Their efforts were widely appreciated. At present, we have a team of 21 dogs specialised in search and rescue. Once three of them move out, four new members will arrive,” PK Srivastava, commandant, eighth battalion of the NDRF, said.
“They are brought to the force at a young age, probably when they were 15-20 days old and are then trained regularly for search and rescue. Our dogs are specially trained in search and rescue, as it is our focus area,” he added.
On the day of the auction, the dogs were served food and given rest before they were taken home by their purchasers.
According to officials, these dogs have a service period of ten years after which they are put on the auction block.
“These dogs are quick to respond to commands and know what to do when they are put on the job by their handlers. They have been to various disaster sites, including the Nepal, Odisha and Tamil Nadu in the wake of earthquake and cyclones, as well as Kanpur after a train accident, lending able support to NDRF teams. These canines trust their trainers a lot do not hesitate to perform their duties even in the face of danger,” another handler said.