19 Jul 2010

SPCA urges canine body armour on dangerous jobs

6:14 pm on 19 July 2010

The SPCA wants safety vests on police dogs when they are entering dangerous territory.

A police dog was shot on Wednesday morning during what was supposed to be a routine inquiry at a house in Christchurch.

Gage was the 23rd police dog to be killed in service since records started in 1972.

In the same period, 11 police officers have been killed in the line of duty.

SPCA national council member Jim Boyd says armour for dogs would be ideal for when there is known danger, but he accepts it would not be practical all the time.

Police say canine body armour has been considered before and is on the agenda at a police dog working group meeting next month.

New Zealand police have 120 dogs which attend 25,000 callouts per year and apprehend 3000 suspects.