Police dog stabbed to death

2010-06-01 00:00

A POLICE dog that was set to patrol World Cup matches in Durban was stabbed to death early yesterday morning while chasing robbers, police said. The criminals are believed to have been terrorising the Hayfields and Lincoln Meade areas.

Warrant Officer Reeno Dayaram said his dog Branco was stabbed at around 2 am next to the Roy Hesketh racetrack in Hayfields while chasing two suspected robbers.

Dayaram told The Witness that he spotted two suspicious-looking men carrying items.

“We’ve been focusing on Hayfields and Lincoln Meade since a number of robbery cases were reported and two suspects came into Hesketh Drive while I was driving there,” Dayaram said.

He said he immediately stopped his vehicle and told the suspects to stop, which they failed to do.

After numerous requests from Dayaram for them to stop, he said he had no choice but to release Branco and the dog went after the suspects.

“After a short while I heard screams coming from the nearby bushes and then there was silence,” he said.

When he arrived at the scene he found Branco lying on his side, with a knife stuck into his back.

“One of the suspects stabbed the dog and the knife’s handle broke and the blade was stuck in its back. The knife went through the dog’s spine and his kidneys were ruptured,” Dayaram said.

He said Branco was certified dead at the scene by a local vet.

A distraught Dayaram said he had a special relationship with the dog. “He was an excellent dog; he was fearless. We both took a Top Dog award last year. I was the first to train him,” he said.

Dayaram said Branco was scheduled to work in Durban during the World Cup.

Branco, a Belgian Shepherd about four years old, has been part of the police force for the past three years. He was skilled in sniffing out explosives, police said in a statement.

Police said the suspects are still on the loose.

Various bottles of liquor, food, a bloodstained jacket and one brown shoe, believed to belong to one of them, were found at the scene.

Police are appealing to anyone with information on the whereabouts of the suspects to contact Warrant Officer Theo Holder of the Alexandra Road detective services at 033 845 7722 or 073 977 2249.

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