THE South African Police Service (SAPS) is urging the public and private enterprises to donate suitable dogs to the SAPS to increase the operational K9 capacity in the SAPS. The SAPS is in a process to improve the K9 capacity of the SAPS, ensuring sufficient operational capacity for the fight against crime, including crime detection and law enforcement operations, as well as wildlife trafficking. Police dogs are used to provide both proactive and reactive services in the SAPS. They are deployed for narcotic detection, explosives detection, protected species detection, biological body fluid detection, currency detection, carcass-and-hide detection, as well as the gathering of sheep during stock theft investigations, tracking and apprehending of dangerous suspects, fire investigation, including search and rescue operations. The following breeds will be accepted by the SAPS: Border Collies, German Shepherds, Cocker Spaniels, Labradors, Belgian Shepherds, Bloodhounds, Rottweilers, Golden Retrievers, German Shorthair Pointers and Jack Russells, which adheres to the following requirements: • between nine months and three years old; • cross breeds will only be accepted if they meet the SAPS strict organisational requirements; • confident, energetic and not scared of people or loud noises; • able to walk on a leash; and • strong and even temperament. The following K9 Units in the various provinces throughout the country can also be contacted, as per the indicated list of authorised K9 Units during the same office hours: PROVINCE RESPONSIBLE K9 UNIT CONTACT PERSON CONTACT DETAILS Kwa-Zulu Natal Durban Lt Col Sithole 082 454 8670 Sgt Davidson 084 505 5091 Pietermaritzburg Lt Col Oberholzer 083 778 2514 Capt Smith 082 558 1391 An appointment will then be made to assess the dog at the donor’s residence to establish whether the dog is suitable and if the dog is suitable a contract will be signed. Dogs are donated unconditionally to the SAPS. Suitable dogs will be taken to the SAPS’ K9 Academy Roodeplaat where they will be examined by the SAPS’ Veterinary Services, inoculated and tagged with a microchip. They will then be quarantined for 21 days and thereafter be socialised and subjected to a pre-training programme and assessed by a panel of experts to determine suitability for police K9 training purposes. Trained dogs will be deployed operationally as a patrol or sniffer dog. Dogs which did not meet the required training standard will be donated to the SPCA, who will deal with them according to their policies and regulations. This arrangement will prevent that dogs will end up in undesirable circumstances. The extent of generosity and assistance of the public at large will be the key factor to determine the success of this donation drive and mainly to contribute to ensure that all people in South Africa are and feel safe. Inquiries: Brigadier Selvy Mohlala on 071 353 6955. - Supplied.