The South African Police Service K9 units converged on the shores of the Nelson Mandela Bay for the national K9 competition where local members scooped 4 top positions. All 9 provinces as well as the SAPS Divisions Operational Response Services, Protection and Security Services and Presidential Protection Services competed in this national K9 competition. The competition was divided into 9 categories including tracker, narcotics detection, explosive detection, patrol dogs, search and rescue, protected species dogs, fire investigation, currency detection and biological fluid detection.“This event offers a perfect opportunity to ensure that national standards are maintained as well as that the capacity and capabilities by both the K9 handler and dogs within the respective disciplines are enhanced,” said Colonel Priscilla Naidu.The winners of the various categories were announced at an awards ceremony held at the Boardwalk Casino & Entertainment Centre. The K9 members from the Eastern Cape who were named winners are: Sgt Ramano Spannenberg with Gavin (Protected Species); W/O Jaco Potgieter with Ben (Search and Rescue); Col Vimla Moodley (Best Provincial PES Commander); and the Eastern Cape was named the Best Provincial Overall Winner. Sgt Marelize Rudolf and her dog Charlie were placed 3rd in the Narcotic Detection.“K9 dogs have proven to be pivotal to the success of operations in a multitude of cases whereby the handlers on their own would never have been successful,” said Col Naidu.Therefore dogs are indispensable in the SAPS. However, the greatest challenge is soliciting dogs for the SAPS. “We encourage breeders and the community at large to consider donating dogs between the age of 8 weeks and 7 months,” said Col Naidu.Only pure bred dogs will be welcomed and the preferred breed of the dog can be a German Shepherd, Border Collie, Rottweiler, Golden Retriever, Jack Russel, Labrador, Dutch Shepherd, Blood Hound or Cocker Spaniel. Donors may contact their nearest police station to facilitate the donation.