Deputizing Shelter Dog

By Ron Fanfair, Toronto Police Service Published: 12:51 p.m. April 9, 2018

An energetic pup has found the perfect home in police dog training.

A man kneeling with a man in TPS uniform and a sitting dog
Dave Wilson, Director of Shelter Health & Wellness at the Ontario SPCA, with Sergeant Scott Fowlds and new police dog-in-training Jasmine

Toronto Police has adopted a dog through the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (OSPCA) that will be trained for detecting explosives.

Police Dog Services Training Sergeant Scott Fowlds formally adopted Jasmine, a 13-month-old Dutch Shepherd, on April 5 at the  OSPCA in Stouffville. The Service normally purchases dogs through brokers, which can cost upwards of $8,000 – the OSPCA adoption fee was $400.

Fowlds heard about Jasmine through a friend who works at the OSPCA.

“She told me they had this dog they couldn’t place because it was too energetic,” he said. “She tested well at the beginning and I took it for a couple of weeks and we continued to test her. Jasmine is really strong for what we are going to need her to do.”

Unable to handle its high energy, a family gave up the dog to the OSPCA earlier this year.

“This dog is hunt-driven,” said Fowlds, who has been with the Service since January 1990. “She loves to search for things.”

He will train Jasmine over the next few months so she can be certified as an explosive detection dog. 

“Once a handler is assigned to her, they will go through a quick course together and she will be on the road,” he said.  “I expect her to start working just after summer. I am very confident she will work out well.”

This is the first time the OSPCA has placed an animal with a police service.

“We are really excited that they are interested in assessing Jasmine,” said Dave Wilson, the OSPCA director of shelter, health and wellness. “At the same time, we are hopeful that there may be other dogs as we move forward that we identify as high-energy, intelligent and athletic that the police service will be able to come in and assess for us.”

Wilson said Jasmine has all the credentials to be a police service member.

“She’s a charmer and incredibly intelligent,” he said. “We realized we were going to have to find a special place for her. She needs a project. This dog needs a job to do and that’s why partnering with Toronto Police is an ideal situation for her.”

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