This fluffy canine may have its roots in the Swiss Alps but will soon be heading to the ‘Queen of Hill Stations' in the State on a rescue mission.

Meet Remo, a 45-day-old Saint Bernard that was christened and inducted into the Tamil Nadu Fire and Rescue Services (TNFRS) dog squad on Tuesday morning. The canine is the sixth and the only one of its breed in the dog squad which was formed in October last year to rescue people trapped in collapsed buildings and landslips.

Introducing Remo to mediapersons as a ‘wonderful addition' to the squad, TNFRS Director R.Nataraj said that the puppy was sourced after a long search for a pedigree Saint Bernard. “Initially, he will undergo training at our State Training Centre in Tambaram in an air-conditioned facility and will follow specific food regimes under the direct supervision of two dog trainers brought in from Ooty,” he said at his office in Egmore.

The new member of the dog squad was brought to the Director's office in a new air-conditioned jeep of the Fire department.

Belonging to a breed of working dogs used in rescue operations, Remo will do just that in the TNFRS dog squad in Ooty after the six-month training here.

“The weather there would be suitable for him and he will assist our personnel in rescuing victims in case of landslips and building collapses in the hills,” Mr. Nataraj added.

According to Remo's breeder Jeyaram of Pets Pedigree in Alwarpet, the canine would grow up to 34 inches in height, 92 kg in weight and can be fully trained for rescue in 120 days. After the training, Remo would be able to detect a human trapped even 20 ft below.

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