P­lett’s four-leg­ged new cri­me fig­h­ter

Knysna-Plett Herald - - Crime | Misdaad - Yo­lan­de S­tan­der

P­let­ten­berg Bay cri­me fig­h­ters ha­ve gai­ned a new te­am mem­ber and t­his ti­me it is not your ty­pi­cal u­ni­for­med one.

The la­test ad­di­ti­on to the P­let­ten­berg Bay Cri­me P­re­ven­ti­on As­so­ci­a­ti­on (PBCPA) is a four-leg­ged one na­med Blackie.

And w­hat ma­kes it e­ven mo­re spe­ci­al is Blackie’s back sto­ry. The Ger­man shep­herd is a stray that re­cent­ly ca­me up for a­dop­ti­on from the P­let­ten­berg Bay A­ni­mal Wel­fa­re So­cie­ty (PAWS).

“The PBCPA o­pe­ra­ti­o­nal te­am con­ti­nu­ous­ly in­ves­ti­ga­te a­ve­nues to grow and ta­ke our cri­me p­re­ven­ti­on ef­forts to a new le­vel,” said PBCPA o­pe­ra­ti­o­nal he­ad and soon-to-be Blackie’s hand­ler, Ot­to O­li­vier.

He ex­plai­ned that it be­ca­me cle­ar that a K9 u­nit was nee­ded. “The po­li­ce ha­ve a won­der­ful K9 hand­ler, but he co­vers ne­ar­ly the en­ti­re Gar­den Rou­te a­rea and is the­re­fo­re not al­ways a­vai­la­ble w­hen the need a­ri­ses for K9 as­sis­tan­ce.”

He ad­ded that t­his re­mai­ned a pi­pe dre­am as fi­nan­ces did not al­low them to es­ta­blish such a u­nit – until re­cent­ly.

O­li­vier said “the stars a­lig­ned” and the dre­am be­ca­me a re­a­li­ty.

“Ma­ri­us Ven­ter, who re­cent­ly joi­ned our exe­cu­ti­ve te­am as pro­ject ma­na­ger, did not let grass grow un­der his feet and im­me­di­a­te­ly star­ted sour­cing pos­si­ble spon­sors.”

O­li­vier at the sa­me ti­me star­ted re­se­ar­ching all le­gal re­qui­re­ments, trai­ning needs and cos­ts.

“Tra­cy (van der Byl) from PAWS then pos­ted a pic­tu­re on so­ci­al me­dia in se­arch the o­w­ner of a stray two-y­e­ar-old Ger­man shep­herd, which was found on 18 Sep­tem­ber. No­bo­dy clai­med o­w­ners­hip of t­his beau­ti­ful, well-look­ed af­ter dog within the pres­cri­bed se­ven days and Blackie – who was na­med by Tra­cy – was put up for a­dop­ti­on.

“The do­minoes of li­fe fell in­to pla­ce.”

The a­dop­ti­on was ap­pro­ved, the P­lett Ra­te Pay­ers As­so­ci­a­ti­on spon­so­red the pro­ject and the ne­ces­sa­ry trai­ning for both Blackie and O­li­vier was se­cu­red.

And it was lo­ve at first sig­ht for both of them. “We on­ly had three days to­get­her be­fo­re Blackie had to le­a­ve for trai­ning, but the­re was an im­me­di­a­te bond. He is a won­der­ful dog and I’m look­ing for­ward to wor­king with him soon.”

Ce­mair has of­fe­red to spon­sor Blackie’s flig­ht to Jo­han­nes­burg, from w­he­re he will be trans­por­ted to re­cei­ve trai­ning from Tacti­cal K9 A­fri­ca trai­ners at Swart­rug­gens. He will be trai­ned to le­vel DH5 o­ver the cour­se of the next two mont­hs. T­he­re­af­ter O­li­vier and Blackie will be trai­ned to­get­her.

“The PBCPA K9 u­nit will work clo­se­ly with the po­li­ce K9 u­nit and PAWS. Rest as­su­red, Blackie’s ken­nel and trans­port ca­ge will meet e­very stan­dard re­qui­red,” O­li­vier said.

P­ho­tos: Sup­p­lied

The P­let­ten­berg Bay Cri­me P­re­ven­ti­on As­so­ci­a­ti­on te­am wel­co­med their ne­west mem­ber, the Ger­man shep­herd Blackie, with o­pen arms. Back from left: Ri­a­na Ven­ter, Ne­vil­le Pe­ter­sen, Wal­do O­li­vier, Ma­ri­us Ven­ter, Wes­ley Andrew, M­zoxo­lo No­fe­me­le, (front) Tra­cy van der Byl (PAWS), Ot­to O­li­vier and C­har­les Ful­ton.

Ot­to O­li­vier O­li­vier will be Blackie’s hand­ler on­ce they ha­ve both com­ple­ted trai­ning.

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