Loving Memory of
1993 - April 1, 2006
Constable Richard Keloa
Trobriand Island in Milne
Lloyd is laid to rest -
By SHEILA LASIBORI
In February last year the two daily papers published
stories about 11-year-old German Shepard Lioyd, who had
retired from the Police Force and was going to be put to
rest through lethal injection. The story raised concern from
animal organizations and readers who did not want to see
such a valiant member of the force put down.So Lloyd's life
was spared and he was adopted by the family of his handler
Constable Richard Kelola to live out his retirement. On
April 1 Lloyd passed away at the Port Moresby Veterinary
Clinic due to old age. A week before Lloyd died he developed
severe complications in its lungs, liver, heart and
esophagus. Constable Kelola rushed the dog to the clinic but
nothing could be done to save him. Lloyd died at the age of
Liord had lived beyond the life expectancy for its breed -
German shepherds - which is 10 to 12 years.Lloyd and Constable Kelola met when Liord was just a year
old after arriving from Australia to join the eight-member
1996 police dog intake at the RPNGC Dog School at Bomana,
Port Moresby. Constable Kelola from Trobriand Island in
Milne Bay province was assigned to handle Lloyd. The
black German shepherd - with patches of faded brown fur - a
typical color of the breed - quickly responded to training
and handling tactics. Const Kelola had said it took him only
six weeks to train him while the other dogs took about 12
weeks."I have been with him. We have worked together...we
have gone through difficult situations and risky situations
too and he at some time saved my life," Mr Kelola had said.
According to policies covering service dogs in the RPNGC,
Lloyd was to be put to rest through lethal injection on
January 28, last year but this was delayed because the vet
clinic was out of stock of the euthanasia drug. The policies
also disallows police dogs to be leased out or given to
civilians because the dogs would not be given the same
treatment and care they receive at the institute.
Police dogs also died of loneliness when they found that
they could no longer be close to their handlers on a daily
basis and also putting former service dogs to rest, the RPNGC sees that it is the honourable way for dogs who have
achieved a lot while serving the force. But the newspapers'
publications drew concerns over the animal's life from the
public and organisations and forced the Dog School to bend
some of its policies regarding retired service dogs and
allowed Const Kelola to take the animal home. As a result
Const Kelola and his family were able to spend at least
another year with Lloyd. "I'm going to miss him. For almost
10 years I have been with him. Losing him is heart breaking
for me. He is like a best friend to me," soft-spoken Const
Kelola had said back in 2006.
Like most German shepherds who had gone through the Dog
School, Lloyd was trained as a general purpose dog to
specialise in tracking, crowd control and in disarming,
disabling and apprehending law offenders.The 13-year-old almost clocking 10 years in the Police Force
from 1996 to 2005 served with loyalty and dedication to
orders from the RPNGC hierarchy, which were imparted to it
by its handler.
Some of these orders were given during search and rescue
operations when Lloyd was needed to help track criminals,
especially those involved in armed robberies, hold-ups,
abduction and rape.
And during the operational duties both the dog and its
handler took risks.Lloyd faced a near-death ordeal four years ago when it went
ahead of its handler at Laloki in search of an escapee who
was serving time for murder at the Bomana Correctional
The search led to them crossing the Laloki River three
Lloyd was cut across the face - an attack which the escapee
admitted was meant for the human companion of the dog. Const
Kelola carried his partner back to the main road and rushed
it to the vet clinic. Lloyd could have died then from loss
This attack resulted in a six months off-duty for Lloyd to
recover, while the escapee was returned to Bomana.
In 1999, on the night of January 27 at Goroka in East
Highlands province Lloyd was shot at with a .38 pistol by
some armed suspects when a rustling was heard in the bushes
after the canine and Const Kelola went after four men who
had previously abducted a woman into the bushes along Gonix
Lloyd then disarmed the gunman and his companions who were
armed with bush knives.
Lloyd could have been shot but its black fur blended with
the darkness of the night and hid it from the men.
This successful operation earned the partners their first
recognition for a job well done.Lloyd was the dog that got involved in tracking down
suspects for abduction, rape and murder of a woman along the
Porebada road on the outskirts of NCD, several years ago.
The suspects were then convicted and imprisoned, one serving
life sentence whilst the other two each serving 15 years
Lloyd also took part in controlling the crowd near the
Waigani Government offices' area in 2001 during the UPNG
student-led unrest over issues relating to privatisation.
But Const Kelola would remember Lloyd even more when the dog
was entrusted with the task to find a way out of the
wilderness in the mountains of Goroka when both were lost
after tracking for 12 hours for men suspected of robbing the
Lloyd stumbled off a cliff almost pulling its handler with
it, but Const Kelola managed to save both their lives when
he tied the leash to a tree which supported him as he pulled
Lloyd then started tracking out of the wilderness as it led
its handler who was picking wild berries for both to eat.
Const Kelola also allowed Lloyd to rest several times
because he realised that they were lost and knew that he
relied on the dog to sniff their way out.
Tired Lloyd led the way while Const Kelola kept whispering
reminders, saying "take us back...you can do it...I am
relying on you."
They reached the old Highlands Highway and a motorist gave
them a ride back to Goroka town.
Another highlight was back in 2005 during a mass prison
breakout from the Bomana Correctional Service prison where
Lloyd tracked the terraneous Laloki Mountains.
Dehydration prevented Lloyd from climbing further and the
police Eye In the Sky airlifted Lloyd and Const Kelola back
Lloyd succumbed to old age at about 7pm on April 1 and was
laid to rest near the Kelola home at Bomana Police College
on Monday April 2. submitted
by Jim Cortina, Dir. CPWDA