KZN police confirm handler will leave dog behind when he retires

2016-02-25 14:12
Bear (Supplied to News24)

Bear (Supplied to News24)

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Durban - Police brass in KwaZulu-Natal have poured cold water on an online petition to allow a retiring dog handler to take his K9 partner with him.

This week, News24 reported that the online movement had been gathering steam, garnering thousands of signatures.

Police dog handler Lieutenant Jack Haskins is set to retire in May this year after decades of distinguished service.

His departure is expected to be bittersweet, as his Search and Rescue dog Bear will remain behind, with many years of service still to offer.

Police spokesperson Major Thulani Zwane said that Bear would be reissued to another handler with "many years of service still to offer to the community".

"This dog is still very young and has many years of service ahead of him as a police dog," he said.

"There is a severe shortage of police dogs currently and we will be doing a great disservice to the citizens of KwaZulu-Natal if we move critical police resources because of our emotions," Zwane added.

"Lieutenant Haskins is puzzled at the petition as he had no intention of requesting to keep the dog."

Speaking via Zwane, Haskins said: "I went on course in 2015 to train Bear, knowing that I have to give him up. I've identified two handlers in KZN who can take him over. The dog is a working dog and for me to take him home would be unfair to the dog. Bear can still give the police and the community several years’ service."


Lieutenant Jack Haskins and Bear (Supplied to News24)

Read more on:    police  |  durban  |  animals

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