The Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) on Friday awarded its best dog from its K9 service, and horse for rendering commendable service while deployed on operational duty with the force.
The special medals were given by ITBP Director General to Sanjay Arora, to ITBP service K9 ‘Snowy’, a Malinois breed dog, and horse ‘Champion’ at the annual DG’s parade held at 39th Battalion ITBP in Greater Noida.
Snowy – an 8-year-old K9, was awarded a special K9 medal for detecting IEDs well in time to save precious lives in different explosives detection duties including one IED in Bakarkatta with the troops of 40th Battalion ITBP in Chhattisgarh’s Rajnandgaon in September.
The majestic Champion, aged 11 years, was awarded for her scintillating show during National Equestrian Championships and leading the Force Mounted Parades as a representative of all the loyal ponies and mules engaged in logistic support duties in bone-chilling high-altitude border areas.
The ITBP started awarding its best dog and best horse medals from 2016.
The Himalayan border guarding force uses dogs for border patrolling as well as in internal security duties. Apart from tracking humans, these dogs are also trained to get into rooms and vehicles and neutralize and restrain intruders and armed persons, detect explosives and narcotics, and assist in search and rescue operations.
These dogs are very helpful in avalanche rescues, force officials said.
The ITBP is also planning to make a retirement home for K9 veterans, after their retirement from active service or injuries during the duty, where they can be taken care of rest of the life, an official said, adding that a proposal to set up a retirement home for K9 dogs was under process and it is expected to come up at the ITBP’s National Dog Training Centre at Bhanu soon.
K9 dogs are integral part of the force and well taken care of. When the ITBP personnel deployed at the Indian Embassy in Afghanistan returned India in August this year after the Taliban took over, all their K9 dogs were also evacuated with their handlers.