Savage the German shepherd and his handler, Constable Mosuli Faku, are part of the Metro Police department’s canine unit for the City of Cape Town. The unit assists in searches of premises, vehicles and people for explosives, firearms and drugs as well as takes part in drug awareness dog shows. Picture: David Ritchie/African News Agency (ANA)

Cape Town - (Police)Man’s best friend has done it again. The four-footed, superstar police dog, “Savage” and his sister found 121 dagga stoppe.

The dynamic duo are three-year-old Sable German Shepherds and were part of a search on an open field in New Road, Macassar earlier this week.

Senior Superintendent Joan Felix said: “It was a successful day for the unit because a house opposite the field is a well-known drug den.”

Savage’s handler, Metro Police constable Mosuli Faku, said the first thing he does when he arrives at work is to inspect his dog and the enclosure to ensure that it is still in tact and that the “slaap plank” is in place and no spiders or rats are present.

He checks the dog’s body, paws, eyes, gums and nose to make sure the dog is healthy and not injured.

He then calls out, “any dogs loose?”, and waits for a negative response from the kennel hand. They then exit and proceed to the field on the premises.

Faku then exercises his dog and gives him some obedience training: thereafter, the dog is ready to “go to the road” Faku said.

Video: Tracey Adams/African News Agency (ANA)

Asked what would happen to Savage when it is time for him to retire, Faku said: “I will take him, because we have a special bond. I got this dog when he was still a puppy. He is my reason to wake up and say ‘I’m going to work’ because I know he is always producing the best.

“He keeps on pushing me to come to work. He is a partner you will never say no to because that is a partner you can trust. Whatever you ask him to do, he will do. He doesn’t talk back to you.

“He is not just a dog He is something to me something very special. So, it is obvious that I will take him if he is retired,” he added.

On July 9, City Metro Police Chief Wayne le Roux honoured Savage with a medal for his outstanding work in sniffing out drugs over the past three years.

At the ceremony which was held at City Metro Police headquarters in Beaconvale, Parow, Le Roux said: “The successes of the entire Metro Police K9 Unit from July 1, 2018 to June 30, 2019, included 156 arrests of which 66% were drug-related, 186 joint and autonomous operations, recovery of two vehicles and confiscation of five firearms, 4224.25 units of drugs, R33 471.80 in cash, 4765 units of abandoned drugs and recovery of 30 rounds of ammunition.”

The Metro Police K9 Dog Unit was started in 2009 with 11 narcotic detection dogs and handlers. In 2010, four patrol dogs and two explosive detection dogs were added.

The unit trained four instructors and started their own successful breeding program. The organisation has recently invested in dogs that can track missing persons based on scent detection.

Following the drug search in New Road, Macassar, Le Roux said: “Our K9 unit performs a very critical function, in the detection which the human eye can’t see.

“Over the years, drug dealers have become increasingly creative in hiding their wares, but our dogs are up to the task. Our K9’s are used to detect drugs, firearms, ammunition, explosives, copper and missing persons.

“The officers with their K9’s have developed a unique bond that allows them to know how to adjust their search patterns when they do operations and how they are in sync to understand each other’s non-verbal communication (gesture),” he added.

Weekend Argus