Starting today, the VPD will be launching a hypoallergenic K-9 program to reduce allergens in the workplace.
Following a number of concerns raised by VPD staff and apprehended offenders, in relation to the VPD’s longstanding use of German shepherds for apprehension and detection services, and the potential allergens and allergic reactions that may result from their interactions, the VPD will now be deploying hypoallergenic police dogs.
Working with a local dog breeder, the VPD has genetically modified a German shepherd, Labrador retriever and a poodle to create a shabradoodle. The new genetically engineered K-9s will have the drive of a German shepherd, the search capabilities of a Labrador retriever and the smarts and hypoallergenic qualities of a poodle.
The new dogs will also have the advantage of being smaller in stature, and with the widespread use of smaller vehicles, have the capability to get into nooks and crannies beyond the reach of a full sized shepherd.
The VPD hopes to be deploying a shabradoodle on the belt of every VPD officer by April 1st, 2018.
“We feel that we have a responsibility to our staff and the public to create an allergy-free work environment,” says VPD Staff Sergeant Randy Fincham. “By deploying hypoallergenic police dogs, we hope to attract allergy-prone officers to our K-9 program, officers who could not have worked in a potential allergic environment in the past.”
For more information about the VPD shabradoodle program, and how you can be a dog handler in an allergy free work environment, please refer to the above video.