Indian army dogs, who have saved the lives of numerous soldiers in counter-terrorism and counter-insurgency operations, will march down the Rajpath for Republic Day Parade on January 26.
Last year, a 4-old-year old Labrador, Mansi, and her Kashmiri master Bashir Ahmed War made headlines when the duo lost their lives while gallantly fighting a group of heavily-armed infiltrators in the high altitude area along the Line of Control (LoC) in Tangdhar sector in August last year.
AP- Channi Anand
The dogs, along with their handlers have since then have received basic and advanced training on specialised jobs such as explosive detection, mine detection, tracking, guarding and assaulting.
AP- Mahesh Kumar A.
Since its initiation, the Army dogs and their trainers have won many medals of honours including one Shourya Chakra, six Sena Medals, 142 COAS Commendation Cards, six VCOAS Commendation Cards and 448 GOC-in-C Commendation Cards.
However, the Army had come under severe criticism from the common people and dog lovers across the world after it was revealed in an RTI reply last year that dogs, horses and mules are put to sleep after their retirement.
The period of six months ends in March this year, but since then the Army has stopped killing any ageing animal, except the ones who are suffering incurable, terminal diseases and injuries.
The Indian dogs mainly consists of Labradors, German Shepherds and Belgian Shepherds, depending on the altitude, weather and the assignment.