Page 18 - Chiron Calling Spring 2021
P. 18

                                Rehoming dogs during the COVID-19 pandemic
by LCpl Sutcliffe
The Military Working Dog (MWD) rehoming section at the Defence Animal Training Regiment (DATR) have continued to support, rehabilitate and search for suitable homes throughout the pandemic. Constantly adapting
to the guidelines set out by the government, finding the perfect home has always been the priority for the rehoming section.
Pre-pandemic you could see the rehoming section on environmental training days out to the beach, national parks and largely populated areas such as city centres. With the restrictions in place the team have had to improvise to achieve their usual end goal whilst prioritising the safety of their animals, staff
and the wider public during these unprecedented times. The rehoming team, like most, are looking forward to restrictions being lifted and training returning to normal.
The process for registering your interest to rehome an MWD is:
• Contact the rehoming team on
01664 418668. We will go through a short rehoming questionnaire, so we can identify the right home for the MWD and the right dog for your home.
• When a Dog enters the rehoming process, we will
carry out thorough behavioural assessments and contact the suitable homes on our database.
• We will send information, pictures and a rehome video, then arrange a suitable time for the new owners to come visit the retiring MWD.
• After a successful initial visit, we will arrange a home visit to ensure the MWD is retiring into the right home. (depending on the government guidance at the time this may be a virtual visit using skype or recordings)
• On completion of the home
visit, we will arrange a final
visit/ collection. Here the new owner will be given the passport, vaccination card and enough food to transition the dog onto the food you choose to purchase.
  The future is bright, MWD Sjors was
one of the MWD’s to be rehomed recently
 Sjors was born in Holland in February 2013, here he began his basic training to become a potential military working dog (MWD) for the British Army. He was procured by the Canine Training Squadron (CTS) at the Defence Animal Training Regiment (DATR) in March 2015, this is where he was taught the fundamental training that would shape his career as an operational general-purpose police MWD. On completion of his training at CTS and after successfully passing an in-depth training assessment, Sjors was posted to 1st Military Working Dog Regiment in Sennelager, Germany.
At his new unit, he was teamed up with his new handler and assisted various units on military exercises, including a collective training exercise to Jordan with 105 Military Working Dog Squadron. Seen here in the back of the military Land Rover whilst in Jordan.
In 2017, 1st Military Working 16 / Chiron Calling
Dog Regiment relocated to North Luffenham, Rutland. During this process the requirement for the Police dog capability was no longer needed and MWD Sjors re-traded
to become a protection dog. With the training he had undergone as a Police dog and his friendly nature, it was recommended that Sjors would be suitable for the Initial Trade Training (ITT) courses (previously known as the phase 2 basic dog handlers course) over in at the DATR, Melton Mowbray.
On the ITT course, he would assist with the training of all the new soldiers joining the Royal Army Veterinary Corps (RAVC). After several years on the ITT course, Sjors time for retirement was on the horizon and he was recommended for rehome in the latter end of
2020. During his time with the Rehome Section, he underwent numerous assessments and training in preparation to his retirement. Passing all the assessments with
flying colours the search for his retirement home began.
In February 2021, MWD Sjors retired from the military and has found
his forever
home not too
far from the
south coast. He now enjoys his long walks around national parks and the coast with his Kong never leaving his side. He will always remain in the minds of those he encountered whilst in service, especially those
he taught the fundamentals of dog handling to. The handling and training knowledge that MWD
Sjors passed on has helped shape a myriad of soldiers within the RAVC. We sincerely hope, like all rehomed MWD’s, that Sjors has a thoroughly enjoyable and happy retirement.

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