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Celebrate a year of Calgary's K9 officers with annual calendar

For the fifth year, the Calgary Police Service celebrate their best and brightest dogs

Officer Rod MacNeil with his partner Sabre

Aaron Chatha / Metro Calgary

Officer Rod MacNeil with his partner Sabre

His first week on the job, K9 officer Sabre was fresh out of training with an eager nose and a lot to prove.

With his handler, Calgary police officer Rod MacNeil, Sabre got the call: A perp had stolen a vehicle, but during the getaway he crashed into another car and then through a residential fence. The suspect then took off on foot, disappearing among the houses. But a foot is no match for a paw.

It was time for Sabre to put his nose to the ground.

“Sabre was able to track him right to a backyard, and indicated he was under the deck,” recalled MacNeil. “So that guy was arrested. Without a police service dog, that guy would have got away with that crime, because there’s no way we would have found him hiding.”

Two years later, Sabre and MacNeil have formed a powerful partnership, striking fear into the hearts of criminals (and getting the occasional cuddle during off-hours).

The Calgary Police Service have released their fifth annual K9 Calendar, celebrating service dogs like Sabre and the important role they play as part of Calgary’s police force.

Officer Derek and his partner Berkley

Aaron Chatha / Metro

Officer Derek and his partner Berkley

“We take a lot of pride in the training we do with our four-legged partners,” said Sgt. Jim Gourley. “They truly are heroes for what they do. There’s a great amount of time, investment and training we put into these dogs, and the results are that these dogs make the city a safer place.

“The fact we can show off our dogs through the calendar is exciting for all our handlers.”

The dogs actually live with their handlers, meaning they spend about 24 hours a day, seven days a week together.

The 13-month calendar gives attention to dogs like Berkley, a cadaver detection dog who is famous for her high energy (and one of only two females on the force) and Mac, who specializes in detecting drugs, but loves playing on the trampoline during his days off.

The calendar is part of an annual fundraising drive for the Calgary Police Foundation, which itself funds six youth-based programs in the city.

Calendars can be picked up at Safeway and Sobeys locations throughout Calgary. For more information, check out http://calgarypolicefoundation.com.

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