Stray dog 'Thenga' breaks tradition, opens way to end Pedigree monopoly in armed forces
Uttarakhand state police department is training stray dogs as sniffer dogs to help police identify threats as well as assist in investigation of crimes such as drug trafficking, murder and many others
DEHRADUN: 'Thenga', a popular Indian slang which contextually means to rebel or to exhibit non-conformist behaviour has an entity with a soul of man's best friend.
A newly inducted stray dog has been named 'Thenga' for braking the tradition of inducting pedigree in the force.
Uttarakhand state police department is training stray dogs as sniffer dogs to help police identify threats as well as assist in investigation of crimes such as drug trafficking, murder and many others.
Sanjay Gunjiyal, inspector-general of police, under whose supervision the training programme was launched four months ago said, "The initiatives the first of its kind in the country and we have got promising results in terms of performance. We hope to recruit more such canines in our squad."
The move is India's first in history of dogs inducted in force. Till date, every state police department and military, paramilitary forces have inducted only pedigree dogs such as German Shepherd, Golden Retriever and Labrador for the job.
Kamlesh Pant, in charge of canine squad who has been training 'Thenga' along with Ramdutt Pandey, the trainer and the handler of the canine point out several benefits in comparison to the pedigree.
"Thenga has very high immunity as his health conditions have not raised the requirement of a veterinary doctor till date. He also has easy eating habits and does not show choosy behaviour, " said Pandey.
Thenga is perceived as a police personnel now who is under training and senior officers refer the canine as a person and not entity using 'him' for the newly inducted member of the squad instead of 'it'.
"Our honourable DGP Raturi Sir encouraged us a lot in the initiative. Thenga has also shown promise in various activities such as sniffing, running, jumping and following the commands," added Gunjiyal, post in police headquarters, Dehradun.
Thenga was picked up by Pant from streets of the capital city when he was just few weeks old in March month.
"A puppy then, he was alone, frightened and starving. Our senior officers have found him and handed over to us. Initially, it was just a rescue but later we thought to train him. He showed promise after two months of time period. He has opened the way for strays into the police as well as armed forces and paramilitary, " said Pant.
Strays can cut up the cost of training maintenance of the dog squad up to 50%.
It takes Rs 4000 to keep up a pedigree in comparison of the stray who is maintainable at Rs 2500 including the diet.