The Winnipeg Police Service’s latest batch of recruits has been carefully groomed — literally, they’ve been brushed, petted and primed for their future duties.
The police service’s canine unit proudly welcomed seven new puppies into its in-house breeding program on Sept. 1.
The brood and their mama — a police service dog named Ellie — are all doing well, the police said in a news release on Friday.
The latest births from the breeding program are particularly significant because they mark the first time a litter has been bred through the program using artificial insemination.
The pups are the progeny of Judge, a veteran canine officer who retired in 2014, following a 10-year career.
During that time, he and his partner, Det.-Sgt. Scott Taylor, recorded more than 500 arrests, putting them among the most successful canine teams in Winnipeg, if not all of Canada, according to the WPS.
Sadly, Judge died the next year at age 11.
But he continues to support the police service. Nine years ago, semen samples were taken and frozen for breeding future litters.
“The process has allowed us to combine the highly sought-after traits of former [police service dog] Judge and PSD Ellie to ensure the highest quality canines are working alongside officers in the community’s service,” the police release stated.
Ellie came to the police service in May 2019, from a breeder in Minnesota.
“She’s proven herself to be an excellent police service dog, making her the choice for carrying this litter,” the police release said.
“In partnership with Dr. Erica Anseeuw and the team at the Stonewall Veterinary Hospital, Ellie was monitored in preparation for this procedure to pinpoint the crucial 12-hour window in which the frozen samples could be implanted to ensure success.”
The insemination was successfully performed on July 3, ensuring Judge’s legacy continues, the police release said.
Judge, who was born through the WPS breeding program in 2003, sired over 45 puppies while he was alive. Six of those are currently working for the Winnipeg Police Service.
Each of the new pups will be trained as police dogs for Winnipeg police and other agencies.
Since its inception in 1999, the WPS breeding program has supplied police dogs to agencies throughout Western Canada, as well as Utah and Minnesota.