By Su Chin-feng and Jonathan Chin / Staff Reporter, with Staff Writer
The reorganization of the police dog handlers by the Taichung Police Department is cruel towards the animals and disrupts teamwork between humans and dogs, the Taichung section of the New Power Party (NPP) announced on Wednesday.
The department imposed a two-year term for police dog handlers last November and fired four of its eight dog handlers last month, NPP officials said at a press conference outside Taichung City’s government building.
Taichung Mayor Lu Shiow-yen (盧秀燕) uses police dogs as props at public relations events instead of using skilled workhorses that require special care, said Hsu Hsiao-mei (徐小媚), the party’s regional director for the South and East the city (東南 區).
Photo: Su Chin-feng, Taipei Times
Under the new guidelines, a police dog would be reassigned 3.5 times in its career, which is detrimental to the dog’s effectiveness and mental health, she said.
The poorly thought-out policy shows that the city government does not respect or understand police dogs, said Tsou Ming-yen (鄒明 諺), the party’s regional director for Dali (大里) and Wufeng (霧峰) counties.
Taichung police dogs are overworked and in poor health, said Fu Chih-heng (傅智恒), regional director of the Houfeng District NPP (后 豐).
The department’s cages are much smaller than those of the customs administration, said Chiang Kuan-fu (江 冠 頫), regional director of the NPP for the Beitun district (北屯).
A police spokesman said the dog handlers were fired when the dogs assigned to them retired, adding that they could reapply for the job.
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