Sniffer dogs enlisted under APM for SAR

KAJANG: The collaboration between the Civil Defence Force (APM) and SAR Dogs to jointly conduct search and rescue (SAR) operations has been formalised.

APM chief Commissioner Aminurrahim Mohamed said the agency currently does not have animals assigned to its SAR efforts, but with the official involvement of SAR Dogs, rescue operations will be bolstered.

“This collaboration with SAR Dogs has been long established since 2019, but it was not in black-and-white. Today, the memorandum of understanding (MOU) was officially signed. Furthermore, it will save the cost of handling trained dogs, while it also grants clearance for the involvement of the public in SAR operations.

“APM’s Special Civil Defence Force (PASPA) will also be given exposure by training together with SAR Dogs to gain knowledge, as well as training and expertise in handling canines,” he told Bernama after witnessing the MOU signing ceremony between APM and SAR Dogs at GISBH Valley here yesterday.

The signing involved APM deputy chief Commissioner (Management) Datuk Ismail Mohd Zawawi and president of SAR Dogs, Datuk Dr Mohd Nordin Mohd Nor and the president of Persatuan Haiwan Terbiar Malaysia, R. Kalaivanan.

Aminurrahim said that so far, SAR Dogs have been involved with APM in three SAR operations, one of which was the SAR operation at Father’s Organic Farm in Batang Kali last December.

He said despite facing constraints of allocation and assets, it will not stretch the APM resources to provide specialised sniffer dog training to its members as part of public service.

Consisting of 94 members exposed to special training, PASPA intends to add 40 more members to the team, and is currently in the process of spreading out its crew across the country in the event of major disasters.

Meanwhile, Dr Mohd Nordin said the association currently has as many as nine trained dogs along with their handlers.

“The training carried out with these dogs is always done in tandem with their handlers. The dogs we have are privately owned and trained by the owner itself to ensure compatibility so the animal will obey instructions given.

He said that some of the nine dogs in question have already passed training and ready to assist in SAR operations, while other canines are still in the early stages of training.

“During the SAR operation in Batang Kali, there was a dog known as ‘Tar’ that was involved on the first day of the mission. Tar was only deployed on the first day because it has the ability to sniff out living humans, which makes the difference between life and death at the early stages of SAR,” he said.

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