Halifax police dog retires after eight years on duty
Ben Cousins, CTVNews.ca Staff
Published Monday, January 28, 2019 9:38PM EST
A police dog in Halifax named Steeler is hanging up his collar after eight years on duty and more than 200 arrests.
Following an eight-year career as a general service dog specializing in explosive detection with the Halifax Regional Police’s K9 Unit, Steeler celebrated his last day with the force on Monday with a special doggy cake.
“He’s allowed to socialize with people in the neighbourhood, he’s allowed to go on long walks, sleep on the couch and just enjoy life,” Const. Phil MacDonald, with the Halifax Regional Police’s K9 Unit and Steeler’s owner, told CTV News Channel on Monday.
During his time in the police force, Steeler is credited with apprehending more than 200 suspects and worked several special events, where he met Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, former president George W. Bush and members of the Royal Family.
Steeler also spent four years performing at the Royal Nova Scotia International Tattoo, an annual show in Halifax featuring marching bands, bagpipes, highland dancing and other acts.
“It was nice to be a representative of Nova Scotia and Halifax for the people that are visiting,” MacDonald said.
Steeler participated in dozens of school demonstrations as a way of building a positive relationship between the community and the local police.
“He’s been a bit for a poster child for our section…because he has the right personality to do that,” MacDonald said. “People see him as a loving dog and a dog that is certainly capable of the police work that’s required of him.”
Since December 2017, Steeler has been semi-retired and only worked as an explosive detection dog while MacDonald trained his replacement, Morgan.
“Hopefully (Morgan will) grow into being the same type of pup that (Steeler) is, and enjoy the same type of successes that he’s had in his career,” said MacDonald.
MacDonald and Steeler will remain close as they will live together with Morgan. Still, MacDonald says there will be a loss without Steeler by his side all the time.
“We’ve experienced every type of call together,” he said. “It’s a bit of a marriage of sorts, so to let that go -- even though there’s another dog to take his place -- it’s something that we’ll miss.”
Police Service Dog Steeler has retired from the @HRPK9Unit after 8 years (56 in dog years) of dedicated service. He's tracked criminals, conducted security sweeps & performed school visits. We wish Steeler well in his retirement! https://t.co/zy1QoQXJEW pic.twitter.com/BRGLdMNJIo— Halifax_Police (@HfxRegPolice) January 25, 2019
Steeler of @HRPK9Unit is quite the TV sensation, as he prepares to put his paws up in retirement. Luckily he's not the type to let all that fame get to his head. Check him out live on CTV National at 8:45 PM AT/7:45 PM ET. Thanks to @CTVAtlantic @CTVNationalNews @murtzjaffer pic.twitter.com/S2VtJklbG8— Halifax_Police (@HfxRegPolice) January 28, 2019