Great to see more and more veterans being paired with therapy dogs to help them cope with issues they have after coming home from their deployments, especially PTSD.
- Mark Jeffrey, an Iraqi war veteran, received his service dog, Gainor, through the Aid for Wounded Warriors program. / Provided/Jenny Jeffrey
HARRISON TWP. – The benevolence of a Northern Virginia charity and a yellow Labrador retriever is helping a local veteran recover from injuries received in Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Mark Jeffrey, 50, of Harrison Township is diagnosed with post-traumatic stress syndrome (PTSD) and traumatic brain injury (TBI), both conditions attributed to injuries he received while a soldier and civilian contractor in Iraq from 2003 to 2005.
Jeffrey, a former captain in the United States Army Reserve with the 490th Civil Affairs Battalion, suffers from short-term memory loss, sleeplessness and literally running away when confronted with large crowds, said his wife of 30 years, Jenny Jeffrey.
It was while attending a local TBI support group that the idea of a service dog for Jeffrey was conceived. He had retreated physically and emotionally from the meeting, his wife said, until a fellow veteran’s dog laid its head in his lap, read the full article here…service dog helps veteran
by Quil Lawrence
July 27, 2009
Listen how Iraqis are using K9′s to help with security
As U.S. combat troops begin a gradual withdrawal from Iraq, they continue to train and advise Iraqi forces, which are increasingly responsible for maintaining security. But one of the most useful security tools is a hard one for Iraqis to accept — not because of technical difficulty, but because of a cultural taboo.
Sniffer dogs are universally recognized as the most effective means of detecting explosives. But in Iraq, as in much of the Arab world, dogs are considered unclean.
An Iraqi police officer and his dog help maintain security at Shaab stadium in Baghdad ahead of a soccer match between the Iraqi and Palestinian teams on July 13. Nishant Dahiya/NPR
“We must help people understand about dogs, and showing that they can prevent bombings is a great way to change their image,” says Iraqi police dog handler Salim Saeed Ahmed.
Iraq has been trying to open itself up to the world again, but security is the biggest obstacle keeping visitors away. Earlier this month, Iraq hosted its first international soccer match — against the Palestinian team.
An Iraqi police officer in the Iraqi National Canine Program in Baghdad stands with his dog. (The names of the officer and the dog have been withheld for security reasons.) The program is slated to expand to include 100 dogs and their handlers. Nishant Dahiya/NPR
Ahmed and his Belgian shepherd, Chico, ran up and down the stands at Baghdad’s Shaab stadium hours before the game, making sure no explosive materials had been planted there. No bombs were found and the game went on as planned, with the Iraqi team winning 4-0.
Ahmed has been a dog handler for 13 years, since the Iraqi canine program was tiny. Chico is a more recent arrival, one of dozens of sniffer dogs provided by the United States. Ahmed just returned from a two-month course in North Carolina, which he says helped him hone his teaching skills.
A patch with the logo of the Iraqi National Canine Program.(Nishant Dahiya/NPR)
Now, he is committed to educating a new generation of Iraqi dog handlers at the Baghdad Police College, where he teaches.
The first step, he says, is harmony with the dog. It starts with caring for the dog — combing it and washing it — tasks that most people in Iraq would consider filthy.
But Ahmed says that without forming this bond, it’s impossible to be an effective handler. One of his American advisers, Army Staff Sgt. Aaron Meier, agrees.
“The greatest tool you have in your inventory when working with dogs is love. A lot of dogs, that’s what they work for, just your affection,” Meier says. “Some of the people who have shown up are willing to play with the dog but they are not willing to go to the next step and really love the dog up. We’ve shown them that when they do that, they get better response from the dog.”
Meier, based at Fort Sill in Oklahoma, is on his third deployment to Iraq, and he says he loves his job here. Still, the trip hasn’t been easy. Meier deployed with Kevin, his canine partner of 4 1/2 years. The dog turned 9 in February, and then died suddenly of cancer two months later. Meier was given the option of going home.
“Kevin, he was a worker; he was my best friend and a worker. That’s why I decided to stay. Like, ‘Hey, if you’ve got another job for me, I’ve got no reason to speed home anymore, like my reason’s gone, you know,’ ” he says.
Meier is married and says he would love to see his wife, “but I’ve come over here for a job. Find me another job,” he says.
So Meier took a job training Iraqi handlers.
The program Meier and Ahmed teach is slated to grow to include more than100 dogs and their handlers.
Meier says the Iraqi policemen in the canine program are a self-selected bunch. They volunteer for the task force even though it offers no extra pay and is one of the most dangerous jobs in the country.
And the Iraqis in the program agree that using sniffer dogs is the best way to protect Iraqi civilians from car bombs and suicide attacks, Meier says.
“It’s the greatest tool you have; you cannot fool a dog. There’s nothing you can do to trick a dog. The only thing you can trick is maybe the handler, but you aren’t tricking the dog,” he says.
“Toby is recovering well after getting treatment for eating a dodgy substance in Afghanistan.”-ITN News
Some awesome videos from a New Zealand police supporter.
“The NZ Police was originally formed along similar lines to that of the British Police. The NZ Police Dog Section was established in 1956 with the help of Sergeant Frank Riley from Surrey, and mostly based on K9 Policing methods from the UK.
The effectiveness of the Dog Section soon became apparent with a rise in the number of call-outs Dogs were attending each year. Specialist training was introduced and dogs were not only limited to tracking down offenders but could also train in other areas such as; Search and Rescue, Narcotics Detection, Explosives detection, Firearms detection, Armed Offenders Squad support, and recently Accelerant detection(Arson).
Although NZ is a relatively small country, with a low ratio of Police per Capita, the working and training of the NZ Police and Dog Section has been recognised internationally as being of an extremely high standard. Since the late 60s NZ Police have helped other Police Forces establish Sections of their own, to name a few: Victorian State Police, PNG Police, Fijian Police, Samoan Police, Tongan Police.
Their continued efforts and persistance in training and work does pay off, with them apprehending over 6,000 suspects each year and attending 40,000 incidents.
They are one of those groups of special people who make a difference and work towards building safer communities in our country of New Zealand. “-from the videos’ contributor.
09 May 2009
A military dog handler who risked rocket attacks and roadside bombs to protect British forces in war-torn Iraq is preparing to fly home.
Corporal Andy Moan is to be reunited with his loved ones in Sunderland after completing a tour of duty in Basra.
The RAF police dog handler served with the Theatre Military Dog Support Unit on patrol at the province’s international airport playing a vital security role during the hostilities.
Risking attack by rocket-propelled grenades and Improvised Explosive Devices, the team use their canine counterparts’ razor sharp senses to protect personnel and vital equipment from criminal and terrorist threats.
But last month marked the official end of the six-year British mission in the country and now the 22-year-old, who has also served on operations in Afghanistan, is preparing to join the thousands of troops returning home.
“My duties have included working as a police dog handler, as well as other wider duties involved with the policing of military operations on a civilian airfield,” said Cpl Moan.
“Working closely with my dog, our aim has been to detect and deter any intruders and to provide military working dog support to ongoing transition operations.”
The former Farringdon Community School pupil, who joined the RAF in 2002, is looking forward to flying home and seeing his family, including mum Lynne and dad Colin, and girlfriend Michelle.
“I love you all and will see you soon,” said Cpl Moan. “I’m also looking forward to having home-cooked meals and a few beers with my friends. I’ll see you all when I get back.
“I also want to thank the people of the UK for all their support for the armed forces.”
The Echo is providing returning servicemen and women with the chance to let their friends and loved ones know they are back safe and sound.
We will print messages for free in the Echo, making sure that people are aware they have returned from active service.
The Echo will also publish messages from personnel in the conflict zones.
Anyone wishing to take part should send their messages to email@example.com.
Generous businesses are continuing to back the campaign.
Shops, restaurants and visitor attractions across the North East are supporting our drive to offer service personnel discounts on a range of services and products.
Any businesses that wish to take part in the scheme, and be featured in the Echo, should send a brief outline of their business and proposed offers with contact details to james.johnston
To qualify for the Honour Our Brave offers, service personnel have to show their official ID cards at participating businesses.
All pictures and Story by Dustin Senger
This article was found here: Qatar Dogs
CAMP AS SAYLIYAH, Qatar – Forty-seven members of the Qatar military police exhibited working dog capabilities for U.S. service members at Camp As Sayliyah, Qatar, April 13. The first-time event was coordinated to enhance bilateral relationships between the two nations’ armed forces, following talks between Maj. Gen Thamer Al Mehshadi, Qatar army military police commander, and Col. David G. Cotter, U.S. Army Central Area Support Group Qatar commander, March 26.
“I’ve seen a lot of dog shows before but this was really good – especially the drug and bomb detection,” said U.S. Air Force Jennifer Asia Gonzales (center), from Chicago, Ill., after a Qatar military working dog exhibition for U.S service members at Camp As Sayliyah, Qatar, April 13. Gonzales was enjoying a four-day pass from duty in Iraq, by participating in the U.S. Central Command rest and recuperation pass program in Qatar. Also on pass from Iraq (far right): U.S. Air Force Brianne Gordon-Garcia, from Charlotte, N.C. and Army Pfc. Sharmeka Reed, from Hollandale, Miss.
Surrounded by curious spectators, Sgt. Maj. Abdulla Al Ghanem, Qatar army military police canine trainer, directed the demonstration of fitness, skillfulness and obedience. Several German and Belgium shepherds (Malinois), along with an English springer spaniel, traversed through various obstacles and mock scenarios. The dogs showcased aggressive attack procedures, situational restraint during riot control and hostage rescue, as well as detection of narcotics and explosives hidden on persons and vehicles.
“I like how obedient the dogs are,” said U.S. Air Force Jennifer Asia Gonzales, from Chicago, Ill. She was attending the demonstration while enjoying a four-day pass from duty in Iraq, by participating in the U.S. Central Command rest and recuperation pass program in Qatar. “I’ve seen a lot of dog shows before but this was really good – especially the drug and bomb detection.”
“This is paving the way for more military integration in the future,” said Lt. Col. Nasser Al Halbadi, Qatar army military police canine unit commander. “We plan to continue these joint training opportunities, so our military units learn from one another.”
Belgium shepherds (Malinois) react after stopping a “detainee” escape during a military working dog exhibition for U.S service members at Camp As Sayliyah, Qatar, April 13. The dogs showcased aggressive attack procedures, situational restraint during riot control and hostage rescue, as well as detection of narcotics and explosives hidden on persons and vehicles.
Lt. Col. Nasser Al Halbadi, Qatar army military police canine unit commander, accepts a token of appreciation from Col. David G. Cotter, U.S. Army Central Area Support Group Qatar commander, after a Qatar military police working dog exhibition for U.S service members at Camp As Sayliyah, Qatar, April 13. The first-time event was coordinated to enhance bilateral relationships between the two nations’ armed forces, following talks between Maj. Gen Thamer Al Mehshadi, Qatar army military police commander, and Cotter, March 26.
A German shepherd locates a Qatar army military police canine trainer by following nearly 200 meters of tracks during a working dog exhibition for U.S service members at Camp As Sayliyah, Qatar, April 13. Several German and Belgium shepherds (Malinois), along with an English springer spaniel, traversed through various obstacles and mock scenarios to demonstrate fitness, skillfulness and obedience.
A German shepherd searches for explosives during a Qatar military working dog exhibition for U.S service members at Camp As Sayliyah, Qatar, April 13. The dogs traversed through various obstacles and mock scenarios to demonstrate fitness, skillfulness and obedience.
Col. David G. Cotter, U.S. Army Central Area Support Group Qatar commander, and Maj. Gen Thamer Al Mehshadi, Qatar army military police commander, finalize talks at Camp As Sayliyah, Qatar, March 26. The two military officers discussed ways to enhance bilateral relationships between the two nations’ armed forces. An exhibition of Qatar military working dog capabilities was immediately offered to the U.S. military installation.
An English springer spaniel searches for explosives during a Qatar military working dog exhibition for U.S service members at Camp As Sayliyah, Qatar, April 13. The dogs traversed through various obstacles and mock scenarios to demonstrate fitness, skillfulness and obedience.
Sgt. Khalid Ahmed H. Sulaiti, Qatar army military police canine handler, during a military working dog exhibition for U.S service members at Camp As Sayliyah, Qatar, April 13. The dogs showcased aggressive attack procedures, situational restraint during riot control and hostage rescue, as well as detection of narcotics and explosives hidden on persons and vehicles.
A Belgium shepherd (Malinois) leaps over a vehicle to apprehend a “terrorist” during a Qatar military working dog exhibition for U.S service members at Camp As Sayliyah, Qatar, April 13. The dogs traversed through various obstacles and mock scenarios to demonstrate fitness, skillfulness and obedience.
A man and his dog in Helmand
Jamie, an English springer spaniel, has been sniffing around Afghanistan for the last three years. He is now teaching his new handler a thing or two about finding explosives and weapons. Jamie was rescued as a young puppy by the Army nine years ago and was then trained as a search dog at the Royal Army Veterinary Corps in Melton Mowbury, Leicestershire. He can detect the slightest hint of explosives or weapons.
Fairy Tail of New York – Sgt David Heyhoe, of New York, and of the Royal Army Veterinary Corps, after his Black Labrador, Treo, won a national award for their life-saving work fighting the Taliban.
Published Date: 02 January 2009
5pm, Friday – A BRAVE black Labrador and his handler have won a coveted national award for their life-saving work in Afghanistan.
Treo, a seven-year-old Labrador, and his handler Sgt David Heyhoe, 40, of New York, have been honoured for their job of finding hidden Taliban bombs in the war torn country.
He was named Best Armed Forces Animal in The Sun newspaper’s Military Awards – or Millies – after receiving 93 separate nominations – more than any other member of the Armed Forces…whether on two legs or four.
Sgt Heyhoe told The News what made this canine so special.
“He’s a dog that is thorough. He enjoys what he does, he enjoys his work, and everything is done for the love of his Dad. He wants to please. He’s got a fantastic nose that I had to rely on while I was out there.
“If it was not for Treo, I certainly would not have come home, and neither would have a lot of other soldiers.”
Treo and Sgt Heyhoe, who are members of the Royal Army Veterinary Corps, finished a six month tour in Afghanistan in September, working in the Sangin – known as the ‘Badlands’ by troops.
Treo was responsible for sniffing out hidden explosives, after which bomb disposal units would be brought in to make the passage safe for the soldiers.
Among his most high profile finds, said Sgt Heyhoe, was the discovery of a ‘collapsing circuit Daisy Chain’ – a device designed to trigger a series of detonations when bomb disposal units attempt to defuse just one of the explosives.
It is a device that had not been used by the Taliban since the 1970s, he said.
“I am extremely proud of this dog,” he said, who was one of around 20 such dogs on the frontline. “But, in turn, I’m proud of every working dog out there and their handlers. Without them, Afghanistan would have been a lot worse during our tour.”
And in a star-studded bash at London’s Hampton Court Palace, Treo and Sgt Heyhoe landed the gong.
With Prince Charles and his wife Camilla present at the do, and with TV’s Richard Hammond, Jeremy Clarkson, and Kirsty Gallagher on Sgt Heyhoe’s table alone, it was a glitzy affair.
But the most important guest for Sgt Heyhoe was his colleague of three years, Treo, who to his surprise, had been released from quarantine especially for the ceremony.
“It was absolutely fantastic having my boy on stage with me to accept the award he had won,” said David, who lives with his wife Tarnia Venning-Heyhoe, 27. “I am not a father, but with Treo I felt like a father. It was probably one of the proudest moments of my life.”
The Peruvian National Police has decided that their police dogs must follow the rules of engagement just like their handlers and must use their paws first to try and apprehend a suspect and then bite them if that doesn’t work.
With the dog squad on the scent escaping justice is unlikely.
By NICOLA WILLIAMS – Eastern Courier in Auckland, New Zealand | Thursday, 28 August 2008
The 32-strong specialist team based in Ellerslie has the ultimate job for dog-loving police officers, using their four-legged colleagues to catch crims.
German shepherds are chosen for their combination of skills.
They are bred at Trentham in Wellington and training starts when the pups are eight to 10 weeks old.
Sergeant Dave Templeton says food treats are used to reward the pups when they obey commands.
At six months they go to a two-week puppy training course before fulltime training with a handler.
“Training never ends. When they are operational there is a whole raft of ongoing training to keep them up to speed,” Mr Templeton says.
They learn to track scents by following pieces of food.
“It’s then made harder and scenario-based,” says Mr Templeton.
Each handler’s working companion is also their pet.
“They are a very close member of the family. They blend in well at home and are pretty social,” officer in charge Peter Pedersen says.
He says you can see how much they love working as they leap enthusiastically into the van for each shift.
FIONA GOODALL/Eastern Courier
ON FORM: Senior constable Chris Harris puts his dog Marsh through his paces.
The dog squad attends about 7000 incidents a year.
Vacancies are few but when they arise they look for officers with at least two years’ policing experience and a love and affinity with animals, says Mr Pedersen.
The officers describe it as a hugely rewarding job.
“I like catching crooks and the ones you can’t catch the dogs can,” says Mr Templeton.
The dogs eat a high performance diet like an athlete and have an average working life of about seven years.
They have distinctive personalities with different strengths and weaknesses.
Despite being trained identically they end up tracking in different ways, each having different attributes that make them more suitable for certain sorts of jobs over others.
When on a lead the dogs pull stronger and faster when the scent is fresh, so police know the person has recently been in the area and might still be near by.
They also have specialist narcotics and explosives detector dogs.
A recent development is using dogs to track blood.
Chemicals have a destructive effect on samples and dogs are able to find blood without contaminating the sample.
“It’s an evolving field internationally,” says Mr Templeton.
“If it’s got a scent you can teach them to find it,” he says.
Mr Pedersen says during demonstrations a dog will be given the command to chase and bite the arm of someone posing as an offender and the next minute be friendly and receptive to pats from children in the crowd.
The job is a dynamic career that doesn’t feel like work because their love of dogs makes it more like a hobby, he says.