A ‘thank you gesture for faithful friends’ to spend their retired life with dignity

A rear exit from the Ahmedabad-Anand-Vadodara expressway, taking a detour of 15 kilometres in Anand, and you reach the office of the superintendent of police (SP), a talk of the town of late. It houses Gujarat’s first Old Age Home for Police Dogs.

As the wrought iron latch on the gates is unlocked, Snoopy, a female German Shepherd, lets out a low-decibel warning for her handler and other dogs regarding the infiltration. She has strategically placed herself beneath a framed quotation on the wall that reads, “Dogs never bite. Just Humans.”

The country’s second largest such facility for retired police dogs, after Meerut in Uttar Pradesh, currently shelters 11 German Shepherds and Labradors who are K-9 unit veterans.

True to the spirit of her name, 10-year-old Snoopy is the most alert of the lot, working as a watchdog of the facility, snooping out any possible infiltration — squirrels, cats and at times, humans. Her age doesn’t allow much activity but years of police training has taught her to be vigilant even as she fights frequent bouts of sleep.

Her handler Nirmal Zala, an assistant sub-inspector (ASI) with Anand police, states, “Snoopy served as a sniffer dog for 10 years at Ahwa police headquarters in Dangs. Her work mainly included keeping vigil at VVIP events as well as at railway stations and bus stands, sniffing out explosives and narcotics. She retired from service in September last year but her traits are still strong though her body has…

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