KOLKATA: A stray pup, rescued by the police, has become the first street mongrel to join the elite dog squad of West Bengal Police.
Asha, as named by the Kolkata Police officers who rescued her from stone-pelting kids on the city streets, has been trained in the last one-and-half years to become member of the dog squad of the West Bengal Police Training Academy, Barrackpore, deputy inspector general of police Dipankar Bhattacharya said.
"Initially, we did not have plans to train her or include her in our dog squad as we never had any street dog in the squad. But the then inspector-general (Training) K Jayaraman thought of providing training to the stray dog and see if she could be included in the canine squad," Bhattacharya said.
Asha who will be joining "pedigreed" members such as German Shepherds and Labradors in the dog squad, has proved to be a good sniffer dog in detecting explosives, the DIG said.
"I am happy that Asha has proved that not only pedigreed dogs can be part of a police dog squad. She has proved herself to be as smart and intelligent as pedigreed dogs. We are proud that we are successful in training a stray dog to handle situations. She is ready for work and will join the squad soon," the IPS officer said expressing his willingness to try to include more street mongrels in the squad after training them.
"Asha is a well-mannered dog. She picked up very quickly and started following instructions on how to heel and walk, crawl, lie down, roll over and salute just like others pedigreed dogs," another senior officer in the West Bengal Police's dog squad said.
"But if you ask me, I will tell you that Asha was very good at training and most of the times, she was better than the pedigreed dogs. She is the fastest runner dog in our squad and quite clever. That's her mettle," the officer said.