THE Ministry of Internal Affairs has honoured two police dogs from Malaga, Alva and Neo, for their exceptional devotion to duty.

The award ceremony, presided over by Fernando Grande-Marlaska, Spain’s Minister of the Interior, commemorated a total of six dogs from the Polica Nacional.

All the dogs are experts in detecting drugs, precursors for aggression, weapons and other illicit items.

The six decorated dogs are Ginger, stationed in Alicante; Alva, in Malaga; Bull, in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria; Neo, in Malaga; Yuko, in Alicante; and Elko de Parayas, who forms part of the Special Operations Group (GEO).

All the commemorated canines are specialists in the detection of drugs, banknotes and weapons, with the exception Elko de Parayas, who is specially trained to prevent assaults.

The national Canine Guide Section was created in 1945 and originally consisted of only eight German shepherds whose aim was to combat crime at the time.

Two years later the Police Dog Training School was created, whose mission was to prepare and train guide dogs, dogs for guarding gunpowder magazines and for chasing down escapees.

At present, this unit has a total of 461 dogs, which are active in the different specialities, accompanied by 237 agents of the Policia Nacional.

197 of the canines are specialised in explosives, 178 in drugs, banknotes and firearms detection, 11 in rescue and salvage, six in recovery of human remains and three in fire accelerant detection (dogs trained to sniff out minute traces of ignitable liquid accelerants that may have been used to start a fire).

There are an additional 66 dogs in training.

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