Happy retirement to Dakota – one of Wellington Police’s favourite floofs.
The near 8-year-old German Shepherd patrol dog took off her operational vest for good last week after working her final shift. She’s tracked and made untold catches and backed her human partners in numerous armed incidents across nearly six years of operational service.
Now it’s a happy reunion with former handler Stu Rota and family in Tairawhiti, where Stu is working as a sergeant.
Dakota was born at the Police Dog Training Centre, Trentham, in 2013 and graduated as an operational dog in April 2015, initially with another handler before she was assigned to Stu.
They saw plenty of action together until January 2020, when Stu transferred to take up another policing opportunity on the East Coast. Dakota stayed in Wellington where she's spent the past 12 months working with Senior Constable Sam Bennett.
Dakota’s friendly face is familiar to many beyond the capital city. She’s famous for featuring in stunning photos by Senior Constable Jane Dunn, a police forensic photographer in Wellington, and has also featured with Stu in four TV series of Dog Squad.