The Delhi Police Dog Squad would soon welcome 35 new members as a proposal to procure a fresh batch of puppies is underway. The latest proposal, once it gets through, would increase the squad’s existing strength of around 60 dogs .
The tender for the proposal, carrying the specifications for canines required by the force, is being drafted and it is expected to be floated after the Independence Day.
“Retirements and deaths of many dogs in the recent past saw the size of the squad getting shrunk in recent times. Even those who are available are injured or fall ill occasionally thus leaving the handlers fewer dogs to work with. Due to all these factors, the need to add more dogs was felt,” said the officer.
Subject to medical fitness, a dog can work in the force till the age of eight and their key attribute of exceptional sniffing ability means they help the police in detecting substances such as contrabands and explosives besides tracking down criminals.
In 2012, the squad responded to a total of 12,842 calls including 179 tracking calls. Its role assumes significance during festivals and VVIP functions or visits and at times dogs are also provided to the Delhi Police by central para military forces.
The most common species of dogs featuring in the 11 dog squads in different districts as well as the Crime Branch is the Labrador which forms the bulk of the squads’ strength. German Shepherds, Cocker Spaniels and a few Doberman also feature in the list. The Delhi Police Dog Squad buys both trained dogs and pups. For pups, the police generally buy the ones who are six-months-old or above as some puppies of the same litter are vulnerable to disease in the first few months after their birth.
The last time a tender for the procurement of dog was floated was in 2009 and during the 2010 Common Wealth Games the squad hit its peak strength of 105. Back then the pups were supplied from Hyderabad and some of them failed to cope up with the Delhi weather and died.
A new kennel with a capacity to shelter 30 dogs is also being constructed in Saket and the procurement of dogs for it would start once it is built.