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Opinions of Monday, 21 September 2015

Columnist: Abdulai, Alhaji Alhasan

Elsewhere dogs are treated as workers, rewarded and punished

By Alhaji Alhasan Abdulai
In Ghana and most African countries, services of dogs are, limited to guarding homes, and used on farms and on hunting expeditions. Although duties of dogs are recognized in Ghana and other African countries, they are only fed by their owners with food left over’s and not given medical care regularly. However in developed nations dogs are rated almost equal to human beings in work places as they are given real names and called service dogs given good food and adequate medical care. Their presence are felt as they are rewarded very well and are disciplined when they go wrong. One such dog which fell foul of the rules at work in Greece was punished
tagged: Greece, police dog suspended from duty, xanthi

According to the media in Greece the service dog was suspended from duty in Xanthi, Northern Greece. The dog did not lose his working place because he was bribed or because he neglected his duty. In fact it was his ‘boss’, a coastal guard who together with his duty partner were found to be in possession of drugs. The two humans and the dog were working at the Drug Trafficking Combat Squads. It seems the humans misunderstood their duty, while the dog just followed orders. As the trio was caught in the service vehicle, the dog was suspended from duty as well, as the law dictates.
I hope the dog won’t be deprived of his pension rights. The name of the dog has not been revealed.
Again in the United States of America, a police officer has been reprimanded and a police dog removed from duty after the animal bit a child at a Kentucky school last month.
The Kentucky New Era reported that a girl was attacked by the dog, named Eddie, on May 9 outside an elementary school building. The girl suffered cuts to her face and was treated at a hospital.
Eddie’s handler, Hopkinsville Officer Jack Lingenfelter, has been removed from the department’s K-9 program and suspended for a week without pay.
While we use the services of our dogs in Ghana, the time has come for us to place value on their services and reward them accordingly as we do to humans. For if dogs who have rights as humans are given adequate care and training, they will not only keep guard at our homes adequately while we are asleep they would help apprehend drug dealers and other criminals in our communities, airports and commercial and industrial settings. Of course when they go wrong they could be punished as happened to the service dogs in Greece and the USA.

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