Plett’s four-legged new crime fighter
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.
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.