RETIREMENT. Three canines who were trained and tapped by the police for combat tracking and search and rescue operations are due for adoption after having retired from service. “Gordon”, “Wanda”, and “Bullet”, all “Asong Pinoy” or Aspin, have recorded significant accomplishments while in active police service. (Photo courtesy of PROCor-PIO)

BAGUIO CITY – After serving for more than seven years helping the Philippine National Police (PNP) in its anti-criminality drive, three Aspin (Asong Pinoy) have retired from active police service and are available for adoption by interested dog lovers.

Capt. Marnie Abellanida, Police Regional Office Cordillera (PROCor) information officer, on Wednesday said the three police service dogs are now ready for their new homes.

“As of now wala pa identified na mag-a-adopt sa kanila. Possible na iyong mga handlers na nakasama nila or assigned sa same unit ang mag-adopt (as of now there is no identified adopter of the dogs yet but the handlers or those assigned in the unit might adopt them),” he said in an interview.

“Gordon” and “Wanda” who are both combat tracker dogs, and “Bullet” who is a search and rescue dog, were given honors by personnel of the Police Regional Office Cordillera (PROCor) during the recent "Salamat Kapatid and Kaibigan Program".

Combat tracking dogs possess the ability to track a human scent and are trained to find criminals and missing persons.

Gordon and Wanda were instrumental in locating the Korean national who went hiking in Barlig, Mountain Province in 2017. He went missing for several days due to an injury that prevented him from returning to the homestay where he was checked in.

The dogs also helped in the search and rescue/retrieval operations after a landslide incident in Sitio Sakrang, Barangay Banawel, Natonin, Mountain Province in 2018. Several persons who took refuge in a government building were buried when soil and rocks from the mountain across it eroded and covered the structure.

The dogs were also dispatched during the armed encounter in Tadian, also in Mountain Province which led to the discovery of harboring areas and escape routes of the communist terrorist group (CTG).

Bullet, meanwhile, served for more than six years as a search and rescue dog.

After Typhoon Ompong's onslaught in 2018, Bullet helped locate four casualties of a landslide incident at a mining community in Barangay Ucab, Itogon, Benguet.

The dog was awarded a “Medalya ng Kadakilaan” by then President Rodrigo Duterte.

In 2019, Bullet located two missing teenagers who were swept away by raging waters in a creek at Lower Wangal and was also dispatched to locate three missing persons who were buried in a landslide incident in Barangay Dominican-Mirador, Baguio City during the onslaught of Typhoon Maring.

Col. Elmer Ragay, PROCor chief regional staff, said the three dogs were awarded certificates of recognition for their services in a ceremony last week.

Staff Sgt. Elizer Pe, Gordon’s handler; Staff Sgt. Arthur Bayangan, Wanda’s handler; and Master Sgt. Arman Acangan, Bullet’s handler, also received a “Medalya ng Kasanayan” (PNP proficiency medal) for guiding and training the three canines.

Abellanida said while the three dogs are retirees, they are not entitled to a pension, thus the need for their adopters to be willing to spend for their needs in the absence of funds from the PNP.

He noted that the PROCor currently has 20 dogs with different skills being trained for police operations. (PNA)