Source: Russian Federation Ministry of Internal Affairs in English
During the preparations and matches of the 2018 FIFA World Cup, policemen engage animals – dogs and horses – to protect public order and security in Sochi. Four-legged assistants help dog experts to check the stadium and training arenas, vehicles passing through checkpoints, as well as large-sized items. During the matches, the mounted police are to patrol the territory adjoining the “Fisht” stadium.
“During the first matches, horses were a little nervous because they were getting accustomed, this is all completely new for them,” admits Deputy Commander of the Cavalry Platoon of the Police of the Russian MIA for Krasnodar Ekaterina Belovolova. “But today is the fourth match already, and they behave perfectly, they have got accustomed and are even trying to ask fans to give them something tasty.”
A shift of the mounted police is about 8 hours. When patrolling, cavalrymen become a focus of fans’ attention and admiration: “Many people haven’t seen horses, haven’t seen cavalry policemen – so they come up, make photos and ask permission to pat a horse. They say that we look very unusual and very beautiful,” says Ekaterina.
After a match, horses have rest and restore their energy. And then, the training process resumes to maintain animals’ service skills.
A dog expert’s shift is 12 hours. However, a dog does not work for the entire period, but is engaged when needed. Police dogs are mostly German shepherds, labradors and spaniels. They are kept in the Sochi dog service where they are trained on a daily basis.
Animals are delivered by special transport to the location of their service: these are vehicles with crates for dogs and horse carriers for horses with all appropriate conditions for animals to feel comfortable during transportation.
It should be noted that, besides perfect performance of their direct duties, police animals have another equally important advantage: fans are incredibly delighted when they see the animals. Talking about his four-legged assistant spaniel named Dolly, junior inspector – dog expert of the Russian MIA Division for the Tikhoretsky District Sergey Sokolov says that people like her very much: “Although she seems so “plush”, she is fully capable to properly perform her service duties. These are spaniels who are considered to be multipurpose, and most often they are used as service dogs. That aside, of course, everyone wants to pat and fondle her and make photos with her. So, she is a true star,” the dog expert jokes.