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SOURCE: PTI

Eight CISF dogs retired on Thursday after serving the force’s Delhi Metro unit for 10 years, with a senior official describing them as “brave soldiers” who carried out their duties with distinction to ensure commuters’ safety.

The Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) organised a farewell ceremony for its four-legged soldiers at a camp in east Delhi and the canines were decorated with medals for their service.

Lilly, Jency, Blacky, Pusty and Lucy (all female Labradors), Rosy and Tweeky (female German Shepherds) and Mini (a female Cocker Spaniel) have “checked and cleared” more than 2,800 unattended or suspected articles and vehicles in the Delhi Metro network that carries as much as 26 lakh passengers during its regular operations across Delhi and its neighbouring cities of Noida, Ghaziabad, Faridabad and Gurgaon.

The CISF guards over 250 operational stations of this rapid rail network and has deployed over 12,000 men and women personnel for the task.

The force has a team of about 50 canines for securing the network, often called the life line of Delhi-NCR.

“We are thankful for their service. They are our brave soldiers who have served with distinction. The farewell is the least we can do for them who safeguarded the passengers and helped us render our duties with efficiency,” CISF Deputy Inspector General (Delhi Metro Security) Jitender Rana told PTI.

The DIG, senior Commandant Deepak Agarwal and other officers of the force put medals around the necks of the canines who wore a yellow and black wrap around bearing the CISF insignia.

Their handlers were given certificates of appreciation.

The retiring dogs were treated to a bowl of pineapple cake each after the ceremony.

“Usually, we don’t give them cakes as it is not considered healthy for combat canines but today is a special day,” S Chauhan, in-charge of the canine squad, said.

These dogs, a senior officer said, are being handed over to a local NGO which will take care of them for the rest of their lives.

People can adopt these dogs but only after completing certain procedures that ensure that these trained dogs do not fall into the wrong hands, the officer said.

The CISF and the NGO ascertain and approve the credentials of those who wish to adopt them, he added.

“These female soldiers worked in the force for about 10 years and they not only secured the Delhi Metro network but also rendered sniffing and checking duties during special events like the Kumbh Mela that took place in 2018,” the officer said.

Police dogs have an active life of about 10 years and post this they are sent for a retired life. The average life of these dogs is about 14-15 years, he added.

A number of CISF troops, who were present at the camp for a promotion and rank piping ceremony, were seen taking selfies with the dogs even as some of the handlers turned emotional and hugged their “best friends” after the ceremony.

“I have been with my dog for almost the full time she has been in the force. I feel one part of me is gone today,” a CISF handler said.