A new four-legged recruit has joined the Mexico City security forces.
Niki, a four-month-old Belgian shepherd, is the newest addition to the canine unit of the Ministry of Citizen Security (SSC) in Mexico City.
The pup is trained for search and rescue tasks during natural disasters, such as earthquakes.
Some of his 18 furry companions will instead be trained to detect explosives or drugs.
A canine unit trainer, Lucía San Juan, said Niki already felt like an integral part of the team.
“He’s a very active puppy. She is in very good hands… we will give her family warmth and training that will prepare her to help the citizens.
She added that she already knew Niki well.
“If I go out, she goes out with me. If I stay inside, she stays by my side. In some obedience training, we constantly work together,” San Juan explained.
“Or even when I go on break, she accompanies me. The idea is to live together as a family… What I can tell citizens is that we learn to understand animals. As we are part of the same family, the best thing to do is to take care of them and love them,” she said.
San Juan added that progress would be slow with Niki. “We have already started his training. However, as she’s still a four month old female dog, we can’t ask for much more than banging and playing.
The canine unit’s first task is to help Niki overcome her fear of heights.
SSC official Daniel Álvarez said it was essential to train puppies from an early age. “Initially, we recruit all dogs when they are puppies. We socialize them into the environment, so that in the future, when they perform public duties, they will be informed and can do a good job,” he said.
With reports from Milenio