Kenfig Hill Air Cadets Go To The Dogs

Barking Mad ___  ___  ___  __  __  __  __  __  __  __  _  _  _____________________________________________

On 24th of July cadets from 2117 (Kenfig Hill) Squadron visited the Mounted Police and Dogs Section at the Police Headquarters in Bridgend.  On arrival the cadets were met by Officer Rick Lewis and taken to see some of the Police horses. The cadets saw six horses in total; Sully was the heaviest horse out of the six police horses on site, weighing near 850 kilos. Out of the nine horses they have three are in training.  When the mounted police require a new police horse they look at advertisements in local newspapers or on the internet. Their criteria for finding a suitable candidate is that the horse must be 4-6 years old, have a suitable height, size and have a good attitude and temperament. The training period for each individual horse is approximately 16 weeks. There are six full time Mounted Police Officers who are supported by a number of reserve officers.

After the cadets had finished bombarding Officer Lewis with questions and queries, the cadets moved on to meet the police dogs on site.  At the kennels there can be at any one time up to 62 police dogs.  In total there are 46 handlers and each handler is required to work with a minimum of two dogs. There are three breeds of dog that are trained on the site; German Shepard dogs are used for general purpose, Labradors are used as search dogs and Spaniels are used as drug, explosive and money detecting dogs. Each breed of dog has to be trained in a certain way to suit the jobs they will be tasked with so the time taken for training varies for each. The training for search dogs takes around 6 weeks, training for a general purpose dog takes around 13 weeks. The dogs can only work for a limited period of time so that they do not receive any long term injuries such as arthritis.  General purpose dogs can work until they are 7 years old and search dogs can work until they are 10 years old.

The cadets thoroughly enjoyed the visit and were very eager to complete work experience at the Mounted Police and Dog site in the near future.

The visit was arranged by Sgt (ATC) K Gould and the report of the visit was written by Cadet Sergeant Jordan Norris.  Sgt Gould has arranged for a slate plaque to be presented at a later date to the section to commemorate their visit.


Overview and Images kindly supplied by: Cadet Sergeant Jordan Norris - Secretary 2117 (Kenfig Hill) Squadron

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