The Force Animals Branch (FAB) of the Lagos Police command, says it Four Police Dogs currently maintained were vaccinated up to date.
The Officer in charge of FAB in Lagos, CSP Bulus Flang disclosed this to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) while reacting to the numbers of dogs vaccinated during the World Rabies Day.
Flang said they have four serviceable dogs, that is, dogs healthy enough for operations, while one was said to be unserviceable due to old age and health challenge.
He said the life span of a dog was 8-12 years, stressing that the oldest dog had spent more than 10 years in Lagos police operations.
Flang said they lost one dog in 2020 due to old age and health challenge.
“All the dogs, both old and serviceable were vaccinated in 2021 and we always do so every year. The vaccination of our dogs and other animals is a priority to the force every year. Vaccination will keep them healthy and active,” he said.
Flang said the current highest rank of their dogs in Lagos command was the Provost, with a rank of an Inspector, which happened to be the handler’s rank.
On the activities they were involved in, the officer said they used the dogs for crowd control during political rally, elections, football matches, concerts, monitor/Surveillance of areas to detect suspects, bomb, drugs and arms.
He said apart from police duties, FAB also carried out many duties members of the public were not aware of, stressing that the department consist of three sections- Veterinary, K-9 section for the dogs and Mounted Troops section for the Horse.
Flang said they carry out training for private dogs to be like police dogs and also owners of private dogs on how to handle their animals.
“We provide dogs for security at private and government events, including religious event, use dog to find lost items, provide Horse for private and government ceremonies, including weddings. Apart from using car, we can use police horse to carry bride and groom to a wedding.
“We know that the public awareness about FAB is very low. The issue is that FAB is a very important department in the Nigeria police Force. We are important to the police and members of the public,” he said.
Flang said FAB currently detained two private dogs for about two weeks that bite some persons without the owner’s control, stressing that the dogs does not have certificates of registration and vaccination.
“For you to maintain private dogs, they must be registered and vaccinated yearly. If the dog bites anyone, the victim should report to the police and hospital immediately for medical care and report. The dog and owner will be arrested. The owner will be charged to court, while the dog detained by FAB.
“Private dogs’ owners must monitor their dogs, give signal to visitors of the presence of such animal in their compound,” he advised.
Flang said four private dogs were currently under going training at FAB- Lagos, calling on other private dogs’ owners to vaccinates their dogs and bring them for training.
On the Challenges at FAB, the officer pointed out that funding for vaccination and maintaining the dogs was a big challenge.
” We don’t have special customised vehicle for dogs in Lagos command. It is a big challenge. If we have event, we used our discretion to convey the dogs to the event.
“A car or patrol vehicle cannot carry three dogs same time with handlers. That is why special vehicle to carry dogs is important. We don’t have enough personnel to also handle dogs,” he said.
NAN reports that, on Sept. 17, the Nigerian Veterinary Medical Association (NVMA) says it will vaccinate at least 100,000 dogs to commemorate this year’s World Rabies Day (WRD).
Dr Gloria Daminabo, spokesperson of the association, told NAN in Abuja that the mass vaccination would hold alongside public enlightenment to assist in rabies reduction.
She said the WRD allowed the association to fulfill its mission by raising awareness on rabies, its effects and how it could be prevented.
“Ninety-five per cent of dogs in Nigeria are not vaccinated against rabies and they pose public health risk,” she said. (NAN)