The Pietermaritzburg SAPS and K9 Unit bid farewell to beloved police dog Chazz, who retired at the end of July after a very successful nine-year service.
The 11-year-old Chazz was described as an “intelligent” police dog that loved his job — scoring a success rate of 94% in the line of duty. He was officially released from police duties on July 28.
Speaking on behalf of the K9 Unit, police spokesperson Sergeant Sifiso Gwala said Chazz has left a huge gap in the force. Gwala aded that Chazz served the community well.
“[He will be remembered] for his dedication to his work. There are so many cases that stand out over his years of service. His 94% success rate speaks for itself.
“One of the highlights of his career was his discovery of a nine-month-old baby that was buried underneath mud after the devastating floods in the Inanda area in Durban,” said Gwala.
He added that another dog is currently being trained to take over from Chazz to continue to try and bring closure to families.
“His companionship is going to be missed dearly. He was always happy and willing to work. He was born to do this job. He was a happy dog and enjoyed his work. Chazz was a community-orientated dog,” added Gwala.
Chazz’s previous owner, John Forsberg, said that while involved in security work, he bred a dog from overseas that was used to detect improvised explosive devices (IED) in Iraq, with another female dog that belonged to a SAPS officer.
“From that litter, we kept two dogs — Chazz and Bear. Chazz worked with me in tracking. But later in 2013, we donated both dogs to the SAPS search and rescue unit. Chazz went to warrant officer Karl Gous and Bear went to Jack Haskins,” said Forsberg.
He added that when Jack Haskins retired, Bear went to the search and sescue unit in Port Shepstone.
“From birth, you could see that Chazz was phenomenal. He always just sat and watched and then went forward and did what was required of him.
He never needed treats, but seemed to learn from just watching.
“I am extremely proud of both dogs and their achievements in the search and rescue industry,” he added.
Chazz will enjoy his hard-earned retirement staying with his handler and human companion, warrant officer Karl Gous.