People are not the only species who celebrate retirement parties. In fact, in Bogota, Colombia, 14 police dogs were given a retirement ceremony on September 21st, 2018, complete with certificates of service and medals. The party was attended by dozens of their human companions; during the ceremony, there was not a dry eye in the house!
About Colombia’s Police Dogs
There are literally hundreds of dogs that serve as part of Colombia’s military and police force. They must undergo rigorous training at a canine school, run by the Colombian police. The school is located near the city of Bogota.
In Colombia, police dogs are used for many dangerous missions, due to the nature of the country’s criminal activity—such as drug trafficking and combat zones. The dogs commonly work to sniff out landmines, help officers eliminate cocaine (coca plant growing) operations, and rescue dead bodies in live combat areas.
The police dogs usually retire by the time they reach 8 or 9 years old—that’s a retirement age of 56 to 63 in human years. According to a veterinarian, named Jeymy Bucuru, who works for the Anti-Narcotics police division, “These dogs are very obedient, and they are well trained, but, we also want them to be able to rest.”
The Police Dogs
Among the dog breeds are German shepherds, golden retrievers, and pit bulls. The dogs are specially trained to sniff out drug and bombs as well as to find dead bodies–to help solve murder cases.
As part of the appreciation for the dogs’ years of service, they all received special scented baths, before they appeared as the guest stars of the retirement party at the police auditorium.
Special Dogs are honored
Canella, a twelve-year-old Labrador, was honored for helping to uncover 65 mass graves “containing the victims of paramilitary violence, and Negra, a pit bull mutt helped detect several tons of cocaine in her eight-year career,” according to a recent Fox News report. “We’ve shared a lot of things together and they are like our children,” said David Maldonado, Negra’s handler.
To illustrate just how risky the dogs’ police work is, there are some canines that were hunted by the drug lords, such as a dog named Sombra, (which is the Spanish word for shadow). Sombra had to be moved from her original base, on the Caribbean coast in Colombia, because the drug traffickers had put out a $7,000 bounty for her head. This was because Sombra was so successful at sniffing out cocaine being illegally shipped out of the country.
The chief of the police department explained to the associated press that the dogs will all be put up for adoption—some will be given a forever home with their handlers. Each adopting family or person, will be required to go through a very arduous screening process before adoption. The goal is to ensure, the dogs will not be used for any private security companies, and they will be able to live out the remainder of their lives in peace. Hopefully the canines will all be able to live past 100 well—in dog years, of course!