The sculpture dedicated to commemorate the killed service dogs is to be unveiled on Wednesday at the State Border Guard Service Dog Handling Centre which celebrates the 10th anniversary of its activity. There will be also held the 10th anniversary ceremony, a demonstration program performed by dog handlers and their four-legged helpers and a munitions exposition.
The SBGS leadership, border guards, dog handlers, former staff members of the Centre, representatives of various institutions and organizations that maintain close cooperation with the SBGS dog handlers and other guests will participate in the event which is to take place on August 23 at 13:00 on the territory of the Vilnius Frontier District in Mickūnai (47 Vilnius street).
At a special ceremony a sculpture in commemoration of the killed service dogs will be unveiled. Its emergence was inspired by the reaction of civil society and the initiative to donate money following the incident that took place last year at the border with Russia when a Belgian Shepherd of the Pagėgiai Frontier District called Ramzis was shot dead while pursuing smugglers.
A natural-sized sculpture depicting a service dog with distinguishing signs was created by sculptor Kęstutis Balčiūnas and architect Kristina Rimienė. Eighteen thousand EUROS spend on sketches, molding and mounting of the sculpture have been donated by individuals and organizations to a special bank account of the Border Guards K9 Club “Draugo letena”(“A Friend’s Paw”); additional several hundred EUROS have been by consensus allotted for the production of ceremonial souvenirs.
During the event there will also be held an award ceremony of the best dog handlers and the winners of a recent dog biathlon competition, a demonstration program of service dogs and an exhibition of accoutrements and munition. The participants of the celebration will be treated to border guards’ porridge.
The Dog Handling Centre celebrating its 10th anniversary is located on a territory of more than 7 hectares. The Centre is equipped with 36 heated and unheated dog houses for service dogs and special facilities for dog breeding and puppy care.
For dog training purposes there are installed two outdoor grounds with obstacle sectors, a special car park for training-designated vehicles where dogs are trained to search for and detect alcohol, explosives or drugs that are smuggled in hideouts of vehicles.
The building of the Dog Handling Centre is equipped with indoor dog handling grounds containing separate sections filled in with different types of soil, a number of hideouts installed in the floor, walls and various pieces of special furniture – all the training aids have been tailored for development of dog skills in different situations and environment.
The building also contains three quarantine rooms, a special room for veterinary examination, a room for preparing pet food, a dog shower and a dormitory for dog handlers.
At present, the total number of dogs in service is 160, and the majority of them are of German Shepherds and Belgian Shepherds breed.