K9 unit gets new recruit Fischer thanks to fundraising city trio

2015-04-18 00:00

A PIETERMARITZBURG trio has teamed together to collect funds for the SAPS K9 unit, affording them a new furry “officer” for their squad.

Rowan White, Mandy Rawlins and Naomi Holdt started a campaign late last year that challenged Pietermaritzburg residents and businesses to donate money to their cause.

To date, the trio has collected more than R38 000, which has afforded the K9 unit a new dog, Fischer.

Fischer, a two-year-old male German Shepherd, came with a price tag of R12 000.

The rest of the money has been left in an account and will be used when needed by the policing unit.

The contribution allowed head trainer of the K9 unit Marlin Smith to go up to Pretoria and look for a new recruit.

After a stringent testing procedure, during which Smith tested several dogs, Fischer surpassed all expectations and was brought to Pietermaritzburg.

The three said they started the campaign after four police dogs died since last year — three killed in the line of duty.

“We all have a passion for animals and justice. When the first dog was killed last year, we thought we could somehow help the people and animals who are helping us every day,” Holdt said.

Describing some of their most generous donations, White said an elderly woman contributed R2 000 from her monthly pension to their campaign.

“We’d like to thank all businesses and people for donating instead of sitting helplessly watching the crime around us,” White said.

In October last year, a police dog, Storm, was tracking suspects in the Swapo area when he stepped on exposed electricity cables that killed him instantly.

In November, Sky, another dog, was shot and killed while chasing suspects in a bush around the Town Bush Road area.

In the most recent attack in January this year, Bruno was stabbed to death while chasing suspects in Ashburton.

For more information on how to contribute to the campaign, contact Naomi Holdt at 074 131 0260.

• amil.umraw@witness.co.za

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