The City of Cape Town’s K9 Unit took its drug awareness message to Rio Grande Primary. The show is part and parcel of the duties of the furry officers and their human handlers, with dozens of shows held throughout the Metro each year, says Mayco Member for Safety and Security, JP Smith.
Smith told the laaities that 33 drug-related cases were solved in the City, thanks to canines, while a total of 80 schools in the City have been searched.
Smith says four new dogs have been added last year, bringing the team to 25.
Constable Randall Huyser told the kids pit bulls, which are often used for dog fighting in communities like Manenberg, play a crucial role in searches.
“All dogs are trained for a specific reason, each has a role to play. Dogs help us when people hide their drugs and guns in places we cannot go.”
One of the furry officers is named Zorro, and “he has big ears which he uses to pick up sound and it keeps him cool on hot days”.
“He has been specifically designed to track down a person or livestock,” Huyser explained.
Smith said all Zorro, a bloodhound, needed to find a person was to sniff an item of that individual’s clothing.
“These dogs help to take out the drugs in our community because the merchants are very clever with where they hide their drugs. We want you to be familiar to us and our dogs so you can help us. These dogs and us, we are not your enemies,” Smith told the wide-eyed children.
Pupil, Zayaan Mohamed, 11, says the dogs have taught him a lot: “I learnt that dogs can smell if you have drugs or illegal guns on you.”