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Curd and swim for Kolkata police canine squad to beat heatwave

The dogs are taken out of their kennels to three air-conditioned rooms — two of which are meant for senior officers and third for a vet

Kinsuk Basu | Published 27.04.22, 07:14 AM
German Shepherd dog.

German Shepherd dog.

Shutterstock

The persistent spell of scalding heat has prompted the city police to change the daily training schedule of their dogs, arrange air-conditioned rooms for them and add curd to their menu.

The canine squad of the city police has 47 members. The breeds include Cocker Spaniel, Beagle, Rottweiler, Belgian Malinois, Golden Retriever, German Shepherd and Labrador.

Officers said that instead of the usual daily physical activities, which help keep the animals fit and healthy, the dogs are being made to swim for an hour and a half twice a day.

“The water provides them some relief from the heat. Besides, while swimming the dogs get a chance to play, which keeps them in good spirits,” an officer said.

“With the afternoon temperature hovering around 40 degrees Celsius, each dog is given 100g of curd during lunch.”

An officer of the detective department said the dogs were being taken out for swimming twice a day. “Each session stretches one-and-a-half hours — from 8am to 9.30am and again from 4pm to 5.30pm,” he said.

 “Once a session is over, the dogs are brought back, combed, patted and clothed before being offered food,” the officer said.

In the afternoons, the dogs are taken out of their kennels to three air-conditioned rooms — two of which are meant for senior officers and third for a vet.

The handlers check the dogs’ body temperature, up to thrice a day, to find out whether any of them is suffering from heat stroke.

“We have written to the state government for funds to convert the 55-odd kennels into air-conditioned ones, in phases. The one meant for sick dogs needs to be air-conditioned first,” the officer of the detective department said.

The handlers have also requested the authorities to keep the dog squad’s assignments to the minimum till the heat spell lasts. “We would ideally like them to rest unless their presence at a site is vital,” a handler said.

When dogs from the squad need to step out in the heat to look for explosives or sniff out the trail of a criminal, the handlers are checking their body temperature first.

“If a dog’s temperature is found to be higher than normal, we are not taking him or her out,” a handler said.

“We have asked for four AC vehicles for the dogs. At present there are two, but neither is fitted with an AC,” an officer said.

Last updated on 27.04.22, 07:14 AM
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