Dan has big name, paws to live up to
A four-legged recruit named after Dan Carter is being trained to join Invercargill police, and he has the great All Black's blessing.
It is hoped 8-week-old Dan the pup will be tackling crooks as part of the Invercargill dog squad when he reaches about 14 months.
Invercargill police dog handler Constable Mike Calvert said the german shepherd with a strong pedigree had an excellent chance of making the squad.
Early on Monday morning, Mr Calvert and Dan's biological dad Ajax were called out to a residential burglary in south Invercargill.
The duo tracked and located a man who was suspected of committing an earlier burglary.
Mr Calvert said he had contacted Dan Carter who jumped at the chance to have a police dog named after him and hoped to meet his namesake someday.
Carter and his wife, Honor, had visited the dog training centre in Wellington in the past and enjoyed their experience with the puppies there. They had also met Ajax, Mr Calvert said.
Dan was one of 13 pups born in the recent police dog breeding programme, Mr Calvert said.
Ajax, an experienced operational dog based in Invercargill, was chosen to provide the semen for two litters.
The pups go to approved foster homes at 8 weeks of age and are monitored by police for the first seven to 12 months.
Those deemed suitable are then assigned to one of the 21 dog sections nationwide for training.
Dan was now part of Mr Calvert's family, training to be a patrol dog and following in his dad's paw prints to track and search for criminals.
Mr Calvert's 23-month-old son Will has already formed a bond with the puppy.
The Southland Times