- Title: BELARUS: BELARUS ARMY ENROL DOGS INTO RANKS TO BOOST FALLING NUMBER OF CONSCRIPTS
- Date: 1st August 2000
- Summary: MINSK, BELARUS, RUSSIA (AUGUST 1, 2000) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL) 1. GATES OF A DOG TRAINING CENTRE 0.04 2. CU: EMBLEM OF THE CENTRE 0.09 3. SERVICEMEN LINED UP IN FRONT OF THE BUILDING (2 SHOTS) 0.21 4. SERVICEMEN OBSERVE DOGS IN CAGES 0.31 5. CU'S DOGS BARKING IN CAGES (2 SHOTS) 0.41 6. SOLDIER SETTING FIRE TO HOOP 0.47 7. GERMAN SHEPHERD DOG RUNNING THROUGH ASSAULT COURSE JUMPING THROUGH BURNING HOOP 1.01 8. SERVICEMEN PULLING TWO GERMAN SHEPHERDS APART, ONE SOLDIER KICKS DOG ANOTHER ONE HITS DOG WITH CAP 1.16 9. (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) CAPTAIN MARAT IVLEV:"We pin great hopes on the dogs. A dog will never let you down and, if properly trained and taken care of, it will serve you well. The main thing is to feed it in time and look after its needs, which are not that great." 1.45 10. CU: ROTTWEILER PANTING 1.50 11. SOLDIER PATTING A GERMAN SHEPHERD 1.58 12. DOGS TRAINING 2.15 13. (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) SERGEY, SERVICEMAN: "The dog will never let you down. It's always around. In the toughest moments, it will come to your rescue." 2.27 14. SCU: DOG LYING ON GRASS 2.31 15. WS: SERVICEMEN WITH DOGS 2.36 16. DOG WALKING ON A BOARD WITH A BURNING TORCH IN ITS TEETH 2.45 Initials Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
- Embargoed: 16th August 2000 13:00
- Location: MINSK, BELARUS
- Country: Belarus
- Reuters ID: LVACC34Z541MFXGTRVLQ2H8XN86S
- Story Text: The army of Belarus, dogged by a falling number of
conscripts willing to do their "patriotic duty," appeared to
have found a novel remedy -- to enrol dogs in its ranks.
The Belarus servicemen say that their country of 10
million, wedged between Russia and Poland, holds second place
in Europe after France for the number of its trained dogs.
Military officers put the number of four-legged soldiers at
800 to 1,000. Dogs, mostly German, Caucasian and Central
Asian shepherds, are used largely to guard and search.
The training centre for dogs is reminiscent of those for
The dogs learn to fearlessly jump through rings of fire, to
walk on narrow bars blindfolded by a strip of cloth, to climb
up ladders to dizzying heights and to attack the assumed
They are the incorruptible masters of Belarus's borders and
customs posts and search for deserters and transgressors, as
well as for those lost in forests, or trapped under the
wreckage of ruined buildings.
"A dog will never let you down. It's always around. In the
toughest moments, it will come to your rescue," said one of
the dog's coaches. Human beings sometimes even resort to them
as the last instance in decision-making.
When one of the old buildings of a military hospital in
Minsk collapsed last year, it took just minutes for a sniffer
dog to signal that there were no people in the ruins.
According to different estimates, training a dog by
Western armies is a luxury that costs tens of thousands of
Belarussian officers say dogs in their underfinanced army
are still the cheapest soldiers.
"A dog, if properly trained and taken care of, will serve
you well. The main thing is to feed it in time and look after
its needs which are not that great," says captain Murat Ivlev.
The cost-efficiency of dogs is a major factor behind plans
to train them for the presidential guard, the security police
and the Emergencies Ministry.
Meagre salaries that average just $50 a month, and high
taxes on keeping pets at home, have led to a growing number of
stray dogs joining the army's ranks.
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