K9 unit welcomes much-needed newcomer, Barack

2013-10-17 00:00

SIX months after his dog Spike was stabbed to death on duty, Warrant Officer Jay Marion has received a new dog thanks to local business owner Stuart Rogers.

Rogers of Stuart Rogers Loss Adjusters, read about Spike’s stabbing in the paper. Spike was stabbed in the eye and twice in the ear while pursuing a suspect in Richmond.

Being an animal lover and a huge fan of the SAPS K9 Search and Rescue unit, Rogers felt the need to make a difference.

“K9 is very close to my heart. The work they do is just incredible. I bumped into Brian [Oberholzer] and we talked about the dog that got stabbed. I told him I wanted to help and decided to donate a dog to the unit,” Rogers told The Witness.

According to Colonel Brian Oberholzer of the K9 unit, getting dogs donated is the biggest challenge.

“We rely on donations from the public to get dogs. More and more local dogs are supplied overseas meaning there is a dire shortage of suitable dogs for us.”

It took three months to locate three-year-old Barack. He is partially trained so it will not take long to train him fully and get him on duty. He will be a huge asset to the dog unit.

“Finding a suitable dog is difficult. Only one out of seven dogs is suitable. With the shortage, we are left with trained dog handlers with no dogs. This is also because the dogs die, get too old or are killed on duty.

“With serious crimes, dogs are the first line of defence, which is why they are so important. We currently have 38 dogs. Ideally, we should have 50. This is why Stuart’s donation is so great,” said Oberholzer.

Rogers is setting up a fund to help get the K9 Unit get more dogs.

“Since I made this donation, people have already approached me and made pledges for donations to help get the K9 unit more dogs. I hope more people come forward to help.”

Anyone interested in donating towards getting more dogs in the K9 unit, can contact Rogers on 033 347 5223 or 083 778 8727.

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