Friday, January 28, 2022

Upgraded Police training centre welcomes newest recruits

Modern, self-contained living for new Police puppies and their mums has been completed just in the nick of time at the New Zealand Police Dog Training Centre.

A litter of 12 German Shepherd puppies to Welsh import Ava was born last Thursday and staff couldn’t be happier with how the new mum coped with the delivery – and how the newly completed renovations at the facility performed.

The newest arrivals join three new furry mums and 21 other pups at the busy centre.

Three-year-old Ava was bought by New Zealand Police and the Police Dog Charitable Trust as part of an initiative to further develop and strengthen New Zealand Police Dog breeding lines.

The expectant mum arrived a few weeks ago and cleared quarantine in time to settle into Wellington and give birth to her first litter of seven boys and five girls – weighing between 300g and 490g – on Thursday night.

Proud new mum, Ava, with her pups.

Inspector Todd Southall, national coordinator Police Dogs, says the breeding centre’s extension and renovation project, funded through MFAT’s Pacific Detector Dog Programme and Police, couldn’t have come at a better time.

“Our old facility has served us well for 20 years but was no longer fit for purpose for the numbers of pups we are breeding annually for New Zealand Police, the Pacific Detector Dog Programme, and other agencies,” he says.

“Our breeding stock and the pups are valuable assets and it’s vital we look after their health and welfare needs as well as the working environment for our staff and the veterinary team.

“With 100 or more pups going through the centre each year, we were bursting at the seams. It was fantastic to see how well the new space worked yesterday for Ava’s whelping and the staff assisting in the delivery.”

Other litters in residence are: Police labrador Isla and her three pups plus the four Labrador cross poodles from Blind Low Vision NZ she is mothering; Police Labrador Rue and her seven offspring; and German Shepherd Vali and her litter of seven.

The renovations include four new self-contained birthing rooms. They’re heated, air conditioned, have plenty of room for the mums to move and less risk of contamination or infections. Outdoor runs lead off each of the new rooms which, when finished, will have both hard surface and grass for the pups’ development and enrichment opportunities.

“The renovated new breeding centre space will help set us up for the next 20 years,” says Inspector Southall.

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