RCMP Police Dog Services trainer Sgt. Eric Stebenne takes Danny for a walk at the RCMP Police Dog Services Training Centre south of Innisfail Wednesday. Danny's former partner

Slain RCMP officer’s police dog to return to work soon

The memory of Const. Dave Ross still looms large over the grounds at the RCMP Police Dog Services Training Centre south of Innisfail, especially this month as his former canine partner Danny has returned to retrain and bond with a new handler.

The memory of Const. Dave Ross still looms large over the grounds at the RCMP Police Dog Services Training Centre south of Innisfail, especially this month as his former canine partner Danny has returned to retrain and bond with a new handler.

Ross was one of three RCMP officers gunned down in Moncton, N.B., in June.

“Every time I come here, through the summer I came here once a week, I always think of Dave Ross and Danny,” said Insp. Andrew Lemyre, officer in charge of the RCMP Police Dog Services.

“Dave was a person who was devoted and he was so happy to be here.”

Danny was briefly on the show grounds at the centre on Wednesday. He is getting ready to return to service and Lemyre said the RCMP hope he will be in service for five more years.

“I know, I believe, that Dave would say ‘I want the dog to be with a new dog handler.’”

Lemyre would not disclose who Danny’s new handler is or where they will be posted. He said it is important to not release the information so they can keep their attention focused on the work they are doing.

“He is one of our top dogs and this dog is a police dog first and foremost,” said Lemyre. “He can’t be considered a family pet, he has been trained and his focus is all about what he has learned.”

Danny’s retraining with his new partner has been going well, said Lemyre.

“We re-team dogs,” said Lemyre. “When a member leaves the service, the dog is still a good police dog and often we will take the dog and re-team it with a new handler.”

Danny is trained in criminal apprehension, search, retrieve and tracking, as well as obedience and agility.

Ross and two other RCMP officers were killed by gunman Justin Bourque on June 4, and two more officers were wounded. Bourque pleaded guilty to three counts of first-degree murder on Aug. 8. His sentencing is scheduled for Oct. 27.

On June 10, Danny attended the memorial service for Ross, Const. Fabrice Gevaudan and Const. Douglas Larche. He was heard whimpering through the ceremony and sniffing Ross’s hat during the procession.

Danny was born on Sept. 7, 2011, at the training centre. At just eight weeks old, he was sent to Vancouver Island to start his training, by being imprinted — a period of rapid learning — with an aspiring RCMP PDS officer.

On Dec. 4, 2012, Danny met Ross in Moncton and on April 22, 2013, they came to the training centre to begin their formal training. Danny and Ross graduated from the training centre on Aug. 30, 2013, and were sent back to Moncton.

Danny has begun bonding with his new handler. The training and bonding process at the centre for the new pair started earlier this month. Lemyre said they will return to active duty shortly.

“Danny has confidence and a very high drive, which makes him an excellent police service dog,” said Lemyre. “He is performing a service he loves.”

A typical police dog serves until they are eight-years-old and are then retired.

“A year ago Const. Dave Ross and Danny were running and training together in this field,” said Lemyre. “We will never forget our fallen members.”


Just Posted

WATCH: Rappelling down Red Deer’s Stantec Building a thrilling, scary experience

Advocate reporter chronicles his trip down the 13-storey buildling

Red Deer raises $60,000 for Make-A-Wish Foundation

27 brave residents rappell down Stantec Building

People hurt in rollover near Red Deer

Occupants of a vehicle that rolled south of Hwy 11A were airlifted… Continue reading

Eager-beaver cannabis entrepreneurs already waiting outside Red Deer City Hall

Appications will be accepted on a first-come basis starting on Tuesday

Like father like son: Red Deer area Dreeshen family dedicates life to public service

There are three jobs that could be considered the Dreeshen family business:… Continue reading

WATCH: Gazebo groundbreaking in Waskasoo

Fifty per cent of the $100,000 project is funded by a provincial government grant

Woman killed in collision near Olds

A woman is dead after a collision west of Olds Saturday afternoon.… Continue reading

Evacuation numbers remain at nearly 1,000 as B.C. wildfires rage on

SUMMERLAND, B.C. — Officials in British Columbia’s Okanagan region hope that fire… Continue reading

Survivors recount deadly Missouri duck boat sinking

BRANSON, Mo. — “Grab the baby!” Those were the last words Tia… Continue reading

HMCS St. John’s to return to Halifax after six-month deployment overseas

HALIFAX — The countdown is on for the homecoming of a Halifax-class… Continue reading

Trump says lawyer taping him may be ‘illegal’

BRIDGEWATER, N.J. — The Latest on President Donald Trump and his onetime… Continue reading

Spieth part of 3-way tie for British lead as Woods lurks

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland — Jordan Spieth has a share of the lead in… Continue reading

WWII hero’s lost Purple Heart returned to his family

NEW YORK — A lost Purple Heart medal has been returned to… Continue reading

California girl, 2, accidentally shot and killed by boy, 4

SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. — Authorities say a 4-year-old boy accidentally shot and… Continue reading

Most Read

Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month