Sri Lankan police want pet dogs to fight terror

Sept 13, 2007 (AFP) – Sri Lankan police on Thursday launched an appeal for the public to donate their pet dogs to help the fight terrorism and crime on the war-torn island. “Make your pet a hero… to curb terrorism and make our motherland Sri Lanka a country with a new facelift,” the police department said in a public notice carried by the state-run Daily News.

It said donated dogs should be between six months and two years old and must have an impressive pedigree. German Shepherds, Labrador Retrievers, Rottweilers, Dalmatians, Cocker Spaniels and Doberman Pinschers are preferred.

Chief Inspector Lal Senavirathne said 25 people donated their pets Thursday, but only 18 dogs could be enlisted as the others did not meet the recruitment criteria.

He said the dogs would be trained to identify explosives, search for buried mines, sniff down narcotics, tackle criminals — and even perform tricks for the public.

The dogs will retire after serving a maximum period of eight years and will be returned to their original owners.

“We already have 170 dogs deployed in 30 units, including the operational areas” or conflict areas in the island’s north and east, Sen