Police dog dies in leap from roof of unit's headquarters

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 17 June, 2014, 3:36am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 17 June, 2014, 3:36am

A police dog died in a fall from the roof of the dog unit's headquarters in Sheung Shui yesterday.

Cool, a 22-month-old Belgian shepherd, or malinois, was warming up ahead of a training session when he jumped over a metre high wall enclosing the third-floor roof, and fell to the ground.

The dog, worth HK$50,000 and not yet in active service, was taken to a veterinary clinic in Tai Po, where he was confirmed dead.

A police spokesman said the department would review yesterday's accident.

Cool's trainer and two colleagues who brought the dog to the clinic were "very upset", according to a police source.

The death brought to three the number of police dogs to have died since the beginning of April.

On May 20, a three-year-old malinois named Dax ran away from its handler, a 43-year-old senior constable who was off-duty, during a walk on the Hoi Yu Street waterfront in Quarry Bay.

Four days later, following a land and sea search, the dog was found dead in the sea near North Point fire station.

On April 4, a seven-year-old malinois serving in the Emergency Unit of New Territories North ran away from its handler during a patrol on Ha Tsuen Road in Tin Shui Wai.

He was found dead on the nearby Kong Sham Western Highway the next day.

Police believed he had been hit by a vehicle just minutes after he had escaped.

The malinois replaced the German shepherd as the main breed used by the force due to their greater loyalty, flexibility and better health.

With an average life span of 13 years, the breed offers at least 10 years of active service. Of 70 serving patrol dogs, 63 are malinois.

The source said police had no plans to review the introduction of the malinois.

The police also use springer spaniels and labradors to search for explosives and drugs.