The Canadian Police Service Dog National Monument Society, Inc.

by Doug Marianchuk

The concept of a national monument dedicated to police service dogs killed in the line of duty first came about in 1998. Considerable research had been done and it was found that in Canada there is no national monument for police dogs, there are several local ones but no national one. With this information, the Canadian Professional Police association was contacted and the idea put forth to them. A reply was received which advised they unanimously approved of the idea and their assistance was offered.

In 2000, I received a newspaper article that outlined the efforts of, then, Sgt. Pete Nazaroff, RCMP Dog Services, and the "SHEP" program he was involved with that was trying to change our laws regarding police animals. During this same time period I also read an article on Cst. Dave Mounsteven, of the Durham Regional Police K9 Unit, who was assisting Pete with his project. Contact was made with both of them and the idea of a national monument presented. Through several conversations it was felt we should combine our efforts for the monument.

Tragedy struck the Saskatoon Police Service K9 Unit when one of our dogs, PSD CYR, was shot and killed while trying to apprehend an armed individual. At the memorial service, this was well attended by handlers from across Canada, Pete, Dave and myself were finally able to meet. The Canadian Police Service Dog National Monument Society, Inc. was officially formed.

The next step was in making application to both the Canadian government and the Saskatchewan government to be recognized and registered as an official non-profit charity. After numerous forms, fees and red tape the Society became a non-profit charity.

Work on the monument was abruptly stopped by the cowardly attacks on September 11, 2001. Not much was done for sometime as everyone waited to see what the outcome was going to be. For the next two years work was somewhat sporadic due to changes in both personal and professional lives of the members involved. On top of it, Sgt Nazaroff left the Dog Services and was transferred to Ottawa.

Sgt Gord McGuinness, of the Vancouver Police Dog Squad, was contacted in 2003 and asked if he would like to help in this project. Gord accepted with no hesitation. He was asked to try and see if there was a suitable land location, our biggest stumbling block, out in BC. Locations had been proposed in Ottawa but due to red tape nothing had transpired. Unfortunately, again due to professional and personal commitments, work was slow and sporadic on the monument.

After an exhaustive search for a suitable location for the monument a letter was sent to Inspector Aimoe, OC of the RCMP Training Kennels in Innisfail, Alberta. He contacted me on May 24, 2005 and graciously provided us with ground on their property for this important memorial. The location, at the kennels, will be across from a memorial that is being erected and dedicated to fallen RCMP dog handlers. However, as we are still in the planning stages if any handlers have any suggestions to a suitable alternate site, and are willing to assist in securing the property, the Monument Committee will be happy to entertain any suggestions.

As for the monument itself there were two designs presented. One consists of a large square base upon which will be inscribed the names, police services, dates of birth and death of each of the police dogs. On top of the base would be a life sized, possibly larger, statue of a German Shepherd Dog in a suitable medium of stone, bronze etc. The second design suggested was of a triangular base, again with the above information inscribed upon it. It would be surmounted by three statues of dogs—a German Shepherd, a Belgian Malinois and a Labrador Retriever. These would represent the three most common police service dogs used in Canada. Again the monument itself is still in the planning stages and any suggestions as to style or medium would also be entertained by the committee.

Many police service dogs have paid the ultimate price in Canada protecting their handlers and the citizens of the communities that they served. It is time they were honored for their sacrifice and their devotion. This monument will be a way to honor them, and sadly any future police dogs that are taken from us, in a permanent legacy for the rest of time. Let's make this monument happen.

Please forward any suggestions as to location or design to Doug Marianchuk at the below e-mail address or phone number.

Phone: (306)955-5688

We are also in a position now to begin accepting donations for the monument. Tax receipts will be issued on request. They may be forwarded to the below address:

The Canadian Police Service Dog National Monument Society, Inc.
1027 Brookhurst Cres
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
S7V 1G6