Kerala police set up a retirement home for trained dogs; an example for owners who abandon theirs

“The retired canines used to be given for adoption to individuals or NGOs working for animal welfare.

Published: 12th September 2022 07:41 AM  |   Last Updated: 12th September 2022 07:41 AM   |  A+A-

Dog handlers and retired police dogs at Vishranthi retirement home in Thrissur

Express News Service

THRISSUR:  Pet owners who abandon their ageing or ailing canines on the road without a second thought, adding to the growing stray dog menace in the state, can certainly learn a lesson or two on compassion and respect from the Kerala Police.

Realising that everyone, human or animal, needs a good retired life, the police department has set up a retirement home at Kerala Police Academy in Ramavarmapuram, Thrissur, exclusively for trained dogs who were once part of the Kerala Police’s K9 squad.  Surrounded by lush greenery and set up in a secluded area, the retirement home, Vishranthi, aims to provide all kinds of care, including medical, to the canines who rendered invaluable service. 

“The retired canines used to be given for adoption to individuals or NGOs working for animal welfare. The practice was reviewed and the decision to set up a retirement home was taken during the tenure of Loknath Behera as the state police chief,” said Ramesh C, the SI in charge of Vishranthi.  The decision was also taken considering the possibility of the trained dogs being used for anti-social activities. 

Skills intact, but dogs’ health a cause for concern

Opened in 2019, Vishranthi has 17 inmates, all retired after serving in various districts. One of them is Max, 13, who served in Palakkad. A recipient of multiple awards, distributed during various state and all-India police duty meets, for her outstanding performance, Max is living a peaceful life at Vishranthi.

Then there is Tarzan, who retired from Alappuzha after nine years in service. She was part of the security detail for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Kerala in the past. Though retired, the canines still possess their old charm and sniffing and tracking skills.

However, with age comes its problems. “Max is suffering from health issues due to old age. We are closely monitoring her health; veterinary surgeons from Mannuthy examine her frequently. Though a veterinary clinic was set up here recently, it is yet to be fully functional,” said a police officer who manages the retirement home with four other personnel.

Tarzan is being treated for bone cancer. Once the clinic becomes fully functional, retired dogs as well as those being trained can get medical assistance without leaving the academy. IG (Training) K Sethuraman said, “The dogs are doing well at Vishranthi. When the home was started, there was not enough space for walking the dogs. I have instructed the dog handlers to take the dogs for a walk to the ground nearby.

Since they are not as active as they once were, the dogs put on weight which is a matter of concern.” He said the retirement home is managed using the academy fund and things have been smooth so far. The dog handlers also look after the hygiene and food habits of the canines.

10 years’ service at most
As per a latest order of the state government, all trained police dogs can serve for 10 years. If they are in good health, they can serve another six months based on the medical board’s report. Dogs facing health issues can be retired and sent to the retirement home for treatment.


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