Are there any criteria for retiring sick sniffer dogs?
The reply to an application filed with the Railway Protection Force (RPF), Pune under the Right to Information (RTI) Act has revealed that not a single dog has been retired by the RPF in the last five years.
According to the RTI reply, the RPF guidelines (standing order 84) provide for the retirement of dogs if they are found medically unfit after reaching a certain age. On the other hand, the RPF officials have claimed that no criteria had been specified for the retirement of sniffer dogs, which play a crucial role in helping the RPF secure trains and station premises.
The reply said that after the death of two sniffer dogs since September, 2012 the Pune division is left with only three dogs – one tracker dog and two sniffer dogs. However, as per the recommendations of a committee appointed by the Ministry of Home Affairs on augmentation of police dogs at railway stations, there should be one dog for every eight trains which indicates that at least 18 dogs are required at Pune station.
When asked from the senior officers about the matter, they reportedly said that dogs could not be retired as it would have created extreme shortage because the administration takes years to find replacement.