SPCA New Zealand
Advice & welfare

Animals in Law Enforcement

Animals in Entertainment, Sport and Work

SPCA supports the use of dogs and horses in police work only where they are provided with a Good Life with positive experiences and their physical, health, and behavioural needs are met throughout their life.

Animals occupy a number of different roles within law enforcement. Where animals are involved in law enforcement, SPCA recommends that their suitability is assessed on a case-by-case basis, based on their species, age, temperament, life history, and the specifics of the role.

SPCA supports steps to rehome or retire animals who drop out of the programme or are retired from duty. Law enforcement agencies must maintain responsibility for all police dogs and ensure they have a Good Life, both during their active working life and through retirement.

SPCA advocates for the use of low-stress, force-free training methods, which focus on positive reinforcement and opposes the use of training methods or devices that cause physical discomfort or distress.

(See Training Methods and Devices for more information)

SPCA is concerned about the use of police dogs to apprehend fleeing suspects.

Use of police dogs to apprehend fleeing suspects is associated with a higher risk of injury to both dog and suspects.

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