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19 Sep 2020, Edition - 1894, Saturday

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Coimbatore

A star in following the scent trail

Covai Post Network

In her eight years of service, Sithra has helped solve four murder cases.

The Labrador was handpicked by the Coimbatore Dog Squad team when she was just about a two month old puppy. As was the procedure, she went through a medical check-up, followed by the official training and certification.

She was trained for tracking purpose, and included scent discrimination training with scent article and scent pad in different terrain. The difficulty level is gradually increased in training, so that the dog’s senses become strong.

One case—the murder of a departmental store owner—was solved in 24 hours. The case was registered in Kuniamuthur Police Station, Kovaipudur. Police recruited Sithra and in about half an hour, she sniffed out a jersey, while the police rounded up a few suspects, after speaking to the victim’s family and friends.

SI A Soundarajan, Sithra’s handler said of the case, “Around 10 suspects were standing in the line and she came up and sniffed them. On the basis of the smell from the jersey, all of sudden she barked and caught one of the suspects by his wrist. He got so scared that he surrendered.”

Soundarajan, who has 18 years of experience in handling dogs and is currently head of the department, said, “During her time here, Sithra won many medals and trophies at state level meets and dog shows. She was a star in this dog training unit. In 2014, she took the bronze medal in the All India Police Duty Meet held in Punjab.”

Sithra is now retired and is taken care of by her handler in the dog training unit. She gets a monthly government pension of Rs 6,300.

SITHRA DIET SCHEDULE

6.30 AM – 8.30 AM – Parade practice and exercise
8.30 AM – 9.00 AM – Milk , boiled egg and Pedigree
12.30 PM – 1 PM – 1/2 bowl Pedigree
6.30 PM – 7 PM – 1/4 bowl of rice, vegetables, 1/2 kg beef marinated with turmeric and salt.

Sniffer dog allowance: Rs 200 per day
Monthy medical allowance: Rs 300

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