BATU GAJAH, May 31 — The monthly gathering at the Batu Gajah district police where the chief honours its personnel, rank and file and the public who helped the force was a little special today thanks to Chulio the German Shepherd.

All eyes were on the five-year-old canine who helped in the rescue of a senior citizen.

Oblivious to the attention, Chulio marched up the podium accompanied by handler Kpl Tony Matiu Farang and received its award ― a medal and a bag of dog kibbles for involvement in the May 11 operation.

State police contingent K9 unit chief Sgt V. Gunalan said Chulio was roped in for the operation on the third day after the district police failed to locate the 85-year-old man, who was reported missing on May 8.

“This is the second time Chulio, whose speciality is sniffing out dead bodies, was involved in a search and rescue operation,” he said, adding that the first operation was in April where Chulio provided its assistance to locate a hiker who was found buried under 1.5 meters of earth at Tanah Rata.

Gunalan said Chulio, weighing 39 kilogrammes, was trained at the Malaysian Police Training Centre (Pulapol) for two years upon its arrival from England before it was transferred to Perak.

Chulio was purchased at a price tag of RM38,450.

Chulio was honoured for his work. — Farhan Najib —
Chulio was honoured for his work. — Farhan Najib —

Batu Gajah district police chief Asst Commissioner Mohd Roy Suhaimi Sarif said Chulio successfully located the man at about 10.30am.

“We gave Chulio a piece of the missing man's clothing to sniff his scent and it went on to do its job,” he said, adding that the man was found dead near a river.

“Without Chulio's assistance we will surely not be able to locate the man,” he added, noting that there were no elements of foul play in the death.

Meanwhile, Tony said Chulio undergoes daily training to ensure its senses are maintained.

“Sometimes we give him our blood to sniff as part of its training.” He added that Chulio was fed twice a day, 11am and 4pm, where it is fed with 400 grams of kibbles mixed with wet food and vitamins and supplements.