8 January 2011
By Salman Ravi
BBC Hindi, Raipur
Having kittens: Police chiefs are furious about the sniffer dogs’ pregnancies
Life is ruff for two star Indian police sniffer dogs who are now in disgrace after having puppies.
Police in central India’s Chhattisgarh state have suspended the bitches’ trainers for dereliction of duty.
The dog handlers said a lack of proper enclosures or kennels at the squad’s headquarters was to blame.
Labradors Seema and Liza have little time to dwell on their career setback – the proud mums have given birth to litters of seven and 10 respectively.
‘Serious security lapse’
Seema and Liza have won lavish praise from bosses in the past for sniffing out caches of explosives and narcotics.
But the two animals are now in the doghouse, as Chhattisgarh’s police sniffer hounds are not supposed to become pregnant.
The commandant of police has ordered an inquiry into the “serious security lapse”. He wants to know why the animals were not kept in protective enclosures.
One of the trainers, Mohan Gupta, told the BBC that the blame lay with a lack of proper kennels at Chhattisgarh Armed Police’s VIIth battalion.
He said the dog squad wing had broken doors and that “the bitches might have sneaked out or the street dogs might have strayed into the kennel”.
“We were ignorant about the bitches conceiving till we noticed their stomachs swelling,” he continued.
“I am just a trainer. How can I be held responsible for the bitches becoming pregnant?”
Complaints about the quality of facilities for police dog squads is just not an issue in Chhattisgarh.
A couple of years ago a police squad in the eastern Indian state of Jharkhand was rocked by a similar controversy involving an amorous four-legged member of the team.
While the Jharkhand police adopted all that animal’s litter, officers are still deciding whether to keep Seema and Liza’s puppies.