Monday, February 17

A swimming pool for Kolkata’s canine cops to beat dog days of summer

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Kolkata Police is making sure their four-legged members have more than just a dog’s life. Ahead of the dog squad’s golden jubilee next year, a swimming pool — to be used exclusively by the canine members — is coming up at the Police Training School before the onset of summer.

The need to set up the pool was felt last May. After a hard day’s work, as the dogs looked tired in the afternoon, a few of them seemed to rush towards the waterbody on the combat training premises, which is used by the Kolkata Police’s commando unit for training, to cool off. “Some trainers decided to approach Lalbazar seeking permission to use the waterbody as a temporary pool. Most of the dogs, especially the German Shepherd, have trouble dealing with summers because they have a lot of fur,” said an officer.

Heat strokes are common in summer, as the dogs often have to stand outdoors on duty.

An officer said that men and dogs need separate pools to swim in. By the start of this year, a little over Rs 12 lakh was approved. Joint CP (crime) Murlidhar Sharma confirmed that the plan has now been set into motion.

Three different work tenders have been issued and the spot — an unutilized water reservoir — has been finalized.

The pool, complete with roofing, will be 75 metres long. The depth is likely to be kept fixed all through. The foundation will be of silver sand, and ceramic tiles will be used to make the surface smooth. “We have to be sure that there are no sharp edges, so that the dogs do not hurt themselves,” an officer said.

A senior IPS officer who is overseeing the project said the aim was twofold: “We are looking at multi-purpose exercises. Not only will it be relaxing, it will also fight high humidity. Some of the dogs, like Labradors, love to swim.” All breeds of dogs will be taken to the pool multiple times a day., he added.

The city police’s dog squad, which is attached to the detective department, has a strength of 48 dogs of different breeds — Labrador, Doberman, German Shepherd, Golden Retriever, Rottweiler and a Beagle. Each dog specialises in one of five policing categories: narcotics tracking, explosives tracking, crime tracking, search and rescue, and guard and assault.

The swimming pool idea comes less than a year of the dogs’ exercise regime and food habits being modernized, and a decade after the first signs of comfort was introduced: sleeping cots.

 

Source: Times of India

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