Stray pup emerges top dog in elite Indian sniffer squad

KOLKATA (AFP) – Some 18 months after been rescued from stone-throwing children, an Indian street mutt has emerged top dog in an elite bomb-and-drug-sniffing squad.

Asha’ – meaning “hope” in Hindi – was rescued by West Bengal police when they found her being mistreated outside their training facility.

“The dog was bleeding when she was taken inside the campus,” senior West Bengal Police Training Academy official Dipankar Bhattacharya told AFP.

Officers originally intended keeping the mixed-breed stray as a pet, but Asha turned out to have a nose every bit as good as the German Shepherds and Labradors usually trained to sniff out explosives and drugs.

Head of the academy Sajal Mondal said she passed the gruelling training with flying colours and that drugs and explosives were no match for Asha’s keen sense of smell.

Asha, a rescued dog turned police dog, at the Barrackpore around 35km north of Kolkata, West Bengal. – AFP