Roy, the Aspin, gets star award from Army

Jaime Laude (The Philippine Star) - October 10, 2015 - 10:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Four-year-old Roy is no ordinary dog, but a military hero.

A cross-breed of Aspin (Asong Pinoy) and Labrador, Roy played a major role in the search and retrieval operations conducted by the Philippine Army in the landslide-stricken Mankayan, Benguet last month.

“Amid the loss of hope of the relatives of missing persons, Roy did what was almost impossible and went through tons of mud,” Col. Benjie Hao, Army spokesman, said yesterday.

Roy was able to guide rescue teams to retrieve four cadavers buried in the landslide, allowing their relatives to give them decent burials.

For his vital role in the search and retrieval operations, Roy and his unit, the 5th Company of the Army K9 Battalion, were awarded a certificate of recognition by the Bureau of Animal Industry.

Roy was also invited as a guest during the founding anniversary of the Army’s Intelligence Service Group last month, when he was awarded a star.

“Roy is a special military working dog. Despite being a mixed breed, he is intelligent and capable. He can keep pace with pure breeds,” said Sgt. Wilfredo Fiesta, team leader of the 5th K9 Company.

Roy’s handler, Pfc Cristanto de Gracia, said what caught his attention was the dog’s drive to learn and love for balls.

First enlisted to undergo basic dog obedience training, Roy was later moved to Fort Magsaysay in Nueva Ecija for a six-month combat tracking training. 

Finishing on top of the class that included pure breeds, Roy was deployed for his first assignment as an Army tracker dog at the 5th Infantry Division in Upi, Gamu, Isabela. He was then assigned to search and tracking duties in Mankayan.

At present, the Army has 149 working dogs deployed in different field units nationwide for combat tracking and explosive detection and as scout dogs.

“These hero dogs are deployed during search, rescue and retrieval operations and during military operations against lawless elements,” Hao said.

ACIRC ASONG PINOY BENJIE HAO BUREAU OF ANIMAL INDUSTRY COMPANY OF THE ARMY FORT MAGSAYSAY INFANTRY DIVISION INTELLIGENCE SERVICE GROUP MANKAYAN NUEVA ECIJA ROY
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