Plan to set up dog breeding centre sabotaged; corruption alleged

While two instances of successful breeding occurred in the Thrissur state dog training centre in the past, involving Labrador Retrievers, subsequent breeding endeavours did not take place.  

Published: 14th July 2023 07:04 AM  |   Last Updated: 14th July 2023 07:04 AM   |  A+A-

K9 squad. (Photo | Express)

Express News Service

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Following the state government’s decision to launch a detailed investigation into allegations of financial irregularities within the K9 squad (dog squad), further disturbing revelations have come to light.

It appears that certain individuals within the top police ranks deliberately hindered a proposal to establish a fully-functional breeding facility for police dogs in the state, likely to facilitate corruption. 

According to information obtained by TNIE, in 2021, a retired BSF dog trainer generously gifted two female Belgian Malinois puppies for the purpose of breeding. Subsequently, the then state police chief, Anil Kant, issued orders to train these puppies as demo dogs and house them at the Thrissur state dog training centre for breeding purposes.

The directive aimed to develop the police’s own self-sufficient breeding facility and reduce reliance on expensive canines procured from kennels in other states, where corrupt practices and the acquisition of inferior pedigree dogs were prevalent concerns.    

Unfortunately, the proposal did not materialise as intended, as the two female puppies were relocated to Idukki and Thrissur City, respectively. Sources reveal that the puppies were removed from the training centre deliberately to sabotage the establishment of a full-fledged breeding facility for police dogs.

“If the police were to establish their own breeding facility and rear dogs for their exclusive use, we would no longer need to depend on private kennels. The procurement of dogs from kennels in other states is worrisome due to the corruption involved. Dishonest officials take cuts, resulting in the acquisition of dogs with subpar pedigrees,” said the sources.

While two instances of successful breeding occurred in the training centre in the past, involving Labrador Retrievers, subsequent breeding endeavours did not take place.  

In 2022, the then Director of the Kerala Police Academy, Balram Kumar Upadhyay, wrote to the State Police Chief requesting intervention to retrieve the two dogs, but his appeals went unanswered. 

These puppies have since matured into adult dogs and are now suitable for breeding. However, certain officers expressed disinterest in returning them to the academy, citing their current duties.

One of the dogs is trained in explosives detection, while the other is trained in narcotics detection. The official explanation is that they cannot be spared from their respective districts where they are currently deployed.    

However, sources claim that this justification is baseless since there are already an ample number of dogs in those districts capable of performing the required tasks. 

“The two dogs were born from foreign parents, boasting a commendable pedigree. Breeding them would have yielded high-quality puppies. Regrettably, certain individuals are keeping them away from the dog training centre for personal motives, disregarding these significant factors. It is disheartening. Spare dogs are available in the districts, and relocating the two dogs to the centre would not impair the functionality of the dog squad there,” expressed an officer closely associated with the squad.

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