Police Service Dog Hitch posing in a field before a night shift. (Saanich PD K9/Twitter)

Even police dogs get a summer vacation

Members of the Saanich Police K9 Unit tag along on their handlers vacations

Summer vacation means lake days, sunshine and relaxation. Hitch, a police service dog (PSD) with the Saanich Police Department, is checking all the boxes while on his annual vacation days at Shuswap Lake this year.

Despite being employees, the police service dogs get paid in treats and don’t actually get their own vacation days. However, they do get to tag along when their human partners go out of town, explained Sgt. Julie Fast, public information officer for the Saanich Police.

The time off is more for the handlers because the dogs are so motivated that they would happily work 24/7 if they could, said Fast with a laugh.

Police service dogs are working dogs, but they live with their handler and the handler’s family. If the family vacation involves a flight, the PSD will stay with another handler, but if it’s feasible they’ll join in on the family vacation. Lucky for Hitch, his family chose a road trip which allowed him to join them at Shuswap Lake. He’s currently lounging by the water and playing fetch with his handler, Const. Ken Mead.

READ ALSO: Saanich police penalize 72-year-old for ‘too many’ distracted driving infractions

READ ALSO: West Shore RCMP police dog sniffs out suspect in View Royal

There are currently four police service dogs and four handlers in the Saanich Police K9 Unit and they work on a rotating schedule, Fast explained. The dogs and handlers form a strong bond because they’re always together. Sometimes they’ll even retire together as partners.

Handler positions are highly competitive, said Fast, and the application process is lengthy due to the high standards. It’s also a big commitment for the handler and for their family as they will need to accommodate the dog and live close enough to the city so they can be on scene in a timely manner if they get called out, she explained.

However, the handlers are passionate and work hard to earn the positions, said Fast.

“It’s not for everybody,” she pointed out. “It takes a special person.”


@devonscarlett
devon.bidal@saanichnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Occupancy rates remain above capacity in Greater Victoria hospitals

Region’s hospitals have more patients than acute care beds

Saanich mayor signs up for mason bee rental service

Fred Haynes rents mason bee colony from Oyster River beekeeper for his Prospect Lake home

Music coffee house returns to Metchosin with new name

Java Jive Coffee House takes place on Jan. 25 from 7 to 9 p.m.

VIDEO: WHO says China virus not global health emergency

The decision came after Chinese authorities moved to lock down three cities on Thursday

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Jan. 21

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Investigators in wildfire-torn Australia head to site of B.C. airtanker crash

The B.C. government sends condolences to Port Alberni-owned Coulson Aviation

Uber, Lyft approved for ride-hailing in Lower Mainland

Kater Technologies Inc.’s application was rejected

Here’s what Canada is doing to stop the coronavirus from getting in

Health officials are monitoring multiple possible cases in Canada

B.C. still struggling to control non-resident medical care fraud

Unpaid bills, out-of-province claimants a costly legacy of MSP

VIDEO: Person in wheelchair narrowly avoids collision with car in Kelowna

There were no injuries in the scary looking near-accident last week in Rutland

Former Mountie, sports coach convicted of sex abuse in B.C. granted day parole

Alan Davidson was sentenced to almost six years for abusing seven boys in the late 1970s and early 1990s

Father to B.C.’s first MLB hall-of-famer is one proud dad

Larry Walker Sr. talks baseball background and son’s base running gaffe

Most Read