After years in service, three canine police dogs were honored by the Police Regional Office-Cordillera for their assistance in various police operations.
The police service dogs (PSDs) Bullet, Gordon, and Wanda were given certificates of recognition and treats at Camp Major Bado Dangwa, La Trinidad Benguet on Aug. 26.
PRO-Cor said the three dogs are aspin or asong Pinoy and were part of the Regional Explosive and Canine Unit tasked to conduct narcotics detection, explosives detection, search and rescue, and tracking.
Gordon and Wanda served the Philippine National Police for more than seven years as combat tracking dogs.
They were used in locating the missing Korean in Barlig, Mountain Province in 2017, who was found 11 days later.
During post-Typhoon Ompong in 2018, the duo also helped in the search, rescue, and retrieval operations during the landslide in Sitio Sakrang, Barangay Banawel, Natonin, Mountain Province.
They were also dispatched during the armed encounter in Tadian, Mountain Province which led to the discovery of harboring areas and escape routes of the armed rebels.
Bullet, on the other hand, served the PNP for more than six years as a search and rescue dog (SARD).
Bullet helped locate four bodies in a landslide in Barangay Ucab, Itogon, Benguet in 2018 and was awarded the “Medal-ya ng Kadakilaan” by former president Rodrigo Duterte.
In 2019, Bullet was tasked in a search and rescue operation to locate two missing teenagers who were swept away by ra-ging waters in a creek at Lower Wangal, La Trinidad, Benguet.
Bullet was also dispatched to locate three missing persons who were buried in a landslide incident in Barangay Dominican-Mirador, Baguio City during the onslaught of Typhoon Maring in 2021.
The Medalya ng Kasanayan (PNP efficiency medal) were also conferred to S/Sgt. Elizer Pe, Gordon’s handler; S/Sgt. Arthur Bayangan, Wanda’s handler; and M/Sgt. Arman Acangan, Bullet’s handler.
RECU-Cordillera Officer-in-Charge, Lt/Col. Pelita Tacio said there are 20 active dogs in the K9 unit.
Tacio said most police dogs can serve up to 10 years, but non-performing dogs can retire within eight years.
She said retired dogs are adopted by their handlers or anyone known by the dogs. Civilians can adopt any of the retired dogs but they need to coordinate with the handlers and fill out requirements for the adoption papers. Cpl. Jonathan Codiam, Focal Person of the K9 Unit, said the unit currently has no breeding facility to repopulate its own dogs, which is why most of the police dogs were brought and trained by their own handlers, usually police officers or rescue volunteers, as part of the K9 unit. – Ofelia C. Empian