Sahara the police dog
Working with the armed forces is a tough and physically challenging job. You must have seen our police officers being assisted by large dogs such as German Shepherds and Dobermans. These canines (also known as K-9’s) are taken in as one-month old puppies and put through extremely vigorous training which specifically teaches them how to assist and protect officers, sniff out human remains, identify traces of drugs and locate evidence at a crime scene.
In October 2011, a police officer from Kolar district, Karnataka, brought in 10 year old Sahara, a German Shepherd. She had served 10 years as a police dog and was now being replaced with younger counterparts. We took her in to find that she was very well-behaved, quiet and inclined to solitude. Manager for Adoptions at the CUPA Shelter, Ms. Bindiya, took Sahara under her wing to help her settle down.
Sahara and Bindiya soon became the best of friends! Bindiya placed a big sofa cushion beside her chair which Sahara loved to sprawl across. This gentle dog, with a history of public service, was featured on the cover of CUPA’s 2012 calendar, which goes up for sale every year. The calendar is full of adorable animal pictures and makes for a great gift to anyone you can think of!
Sadly, at the end of April, Sahara suddenly fell ill and was diagnosed with kidney failure. It was only a matter of time until she peacefully passed away. All of us, especially Bindiya, miss her terribly. The only consolation is that she lived her last six months in a safe place and with people who truly adored her.
CUPA trustees are in constant touch with the respective authorities to ensure that the best arrangements are made for other retiring dogs. Animals, much like people, need to be treated with care, love and a tons of patience when they grow old. Though these dogs are in the autumn of their lives, they still make excellent companions.
It is interesting to know that these service dogs have no retirement plans by the institutions using their services and are not even given to their handlers, as a matter of policy. It is felt that their handlers will be unable to maintain the veterinary care and diet which the dogs have been used to ! However, they have no compunctions in handing them over to the local animal shelters and SPCAs !
If you would like to help senior canine citizens like Sahara, please write to email@example.com. We have old dogs that need loving support and you can help us to help them.