March 8, 2022: Mumbai Police fired a three-volley salute to honour a deceased canine from their ity police’s bomb detection and disposal squad (BDDS), The Indian Express reported.
Simba, 9, was on treatment for the last one and a half months, but succummed to the illness in the end. His remains were cremated at the Parel Veterinary Hospital.
After joining the force in 2013, the K9 team member put his life on the line just like any human officer every time he was called in to detect a bomb planted by criminals or terrorists in India’s coastside commercial capital.
The police posted a video from the tribute ceremony on social media. The post said, “A Three Gun Salute For Our Best! Rest in peace Simba. You were the best companion and protector we could ever ask for.”
It showed officers firing three shots into the sky as a homage Simba, who was draped in a white sheet, and laid on a cart with garlands as per Hindu tradition.
The police’s gesture received largely positive comments on social media, and has garnered 100,000+ views since the posting.
Back in 2014, Prince, another a sniffer dog from the squad, had received a similar farewell with 21-gun salutes, with more than 25 officers present at the ceremony. Prince was a part of the units defending the city against Islamic terrorists on the 26/11 attacks.
Care for Police Dogs
The subject of canine units in India’s police forces came into the spotlight after the release of “Holiday: A Soldier is Never off Duty” (2014) starring Akshay Kumar, and featuring a Labrador who helps him on his mission against terrorists.
One of India’s biggest NGOs, IDA (In Defense of Animals) was working tirelessly to set up a retirement scheme for these sniffer dogs who dedicate their entire lives to keeping the country safe from all kinds of criminals and threats.
Earlier, there was no such provision to ensure the four-legged Government servants lead a dignified and happy retired life after they become old, or are declared unfit for service.
According to IDA India’s website, “The recommendations were partly accepted, as the Police Department formalized the retirement of the Police Dogs at the age of 8, or earlier if they are unfit to work, and have decided to form an adoption committee.”
“IDA India has been asked to join this Committee for screening the people who wish to adopt these dogs. The Government is however, yet to consider providing pension to these dogs, for their upkeep. Once the system of retirement of the Police Dogs falls in place, IDA India will pursue further for the pension.”
Bengaluru’s police department already has such a formal system in place through which citizens can adopt senior dogs retired from service. Adoptees can contact the DCP (CAR-South) for dog adoption on 080-25710856 or 080-22942370.
If you have the time, please contact and urge your city’s local police department to give our K9 protectors a respectable treatment towards the end of their lives.