A special visitor captivated some Burnaby elementary school students recently.
Const. Scott MacLeod brought Brando, a three-year-old German shepherd to Gilpin Elementary recently and as Brando sniffed out his target within 30 seconds, nearly 180 students watched closely with excitement and laughter.
MacLeod talked to the students about raising puppies and socializing them into police dogs, as well as the training and tests they must go through to be deemed suitable for police work.
"The parents of a student suggested it would be a good idea for the students to be familiar with police dogs to diffuse any fears and learn how they are used to protect the public," Gilpin principal Sean Gaster said in an RCMP press release.
"The students were very energetic and excited to learn about police dogs," said MacLeod. "They asked great questions and their favourite part was seeing Brando. A lot of laughter came out when they saw the energy of Brando running from object to object and wagging his tail uncontrollably."
MacLeod raised six puppies before he got Brando, all part of the puppy imprinting program for police officers who want to become dog handlers. The two met at the RCMP police dog training centre in Innisfail, Alta. They moved to the Lower Mainland about a year ago and have been working for the Lower Mainland District Integrated Police Dog Service, which covers the 13 RCMP detachments in the Lower Mainland and Abbotsford.