OPP Hosts Recognition Event as Cloud II's Remains Move to GHQ
ORILLIA, ON, Jan. 20, 2012 /CNW/ - The Ontario Provincial Police (OPP)
held a special recognition ceremony at their General Headquarters (GHQ)
in Orillia for Cloud II, the legendary German Shepherd who was the
first OPP Canine Unit police dog to give his life in the line of duty
The heroic tracking dog was initially buried at the former OPP district
headquarters in North Bay, but his remains were exhumed in November
(2011) in order to relocate him to The OPP Museum at GHQ before the OPP vacates the North Bay facility later this year.
Cloud II was a well-known and respected police dog. During his
four-year career with then Provincial Constable Ray Carson, together
they captured 123 fugitives. Cloud II was also inducted into the
Purina Animal Hall of Fame in 1974 for his "unflinching courage against
great odds" - praise he earned for his daring disarming of two escaped
juveniles in which he retrieved a loaded gun and a knife from the
suspects who were hiding in a fishing hut.
Considered by many in North Bay to be a local hero for his bravery and
dedication, Cloud II often visited schools and attended public events.
Sadly, Cloud II was shot and killed on September 2, 1975 while tracking
a wanted fugitive to a cabin about 30 kilometres northeast of Sudbury.
Recognizing the contributions of past and current OPP Canine Unit teams
was another highlight of the event. OPP members, local dignitaries,
retired and active Canine Unit handlers, their dogs and Friends of The
OPP Museum members were in attendance to hear stories about Cloud II
and how his legacy persists in the Canine Unit's operations today.
Cloud II's remains have been laid to rest in a special stone urn and
will remain on display at The OPP Museum along with his photo and a plaque that tells his story.
PHOTOS OF CLOUD II
Cloud II Backgrounder
OPP Canine Unit Backgrounder
Visit The OPP Museum website at http://www.opp.ca/museum/en/index.php
Cloud II - A Hero's Life
During their four-year partnership, Cloud II and his handler,
then-Provincial Constable Ray Carson, succeeded in capturing 123
fugitives. Cloud II was a well-known member of the OPP's canine team
having appeared, along with Carson, on Front Page Challenge on November
5, 1974, where they "stumped" the panel.
Hall of Fame, 1974
Cloud II was also a Purina Hall of Fame member. Given the task of
capturing three escaped juvenile offenders who were presumed to be
armed, Cloud II and Provincial Constable Carson approached a fishing hut where two of the offenders were believed to be
On command, Cloud II entered the hut and emerged with a loaded rifle. He
then forced another to give up a knife. The third escapee, who had
earlier run off, was tracked down at a nearby cottage and also disarmed
of a large club by Cloud II.
"For his unflinching courage against great odds," Cloud II earned the
distinction of becoming a member of the Purina Animal Hall of Fame, on
September 12th, 1974, as he had clearly demonstrated the "courage, perseverance, and
dedication" required of an Ontario Provincial Police dog.
The five year-old 90 lb. (41 kg.) German Shepherd was trained for search
and rescue work, trailing and apprehending wanted or escaped persons
and to search out hidden caches of drugs like marijuana or hashish.
Tragically, Cloud II was shot and killed in the line of duty in 1975
A suspected murderer who escaped while awaiting trial was the subject of
a large-scale manhunt during the summer of 1975 in the North Bay area.
Provincial Constable Ray Carson and his dog, Cloud II, were one of the
canine teams involved in the search when Cloud II picked up the
suspect's trail approximately 40 kilometres east of Sudbury. On the
following day, Carson and Cloud II caught up to the suspect outside a
cabin in a bush clearing. During the attempt to capture the fugitive,
who was armed with a 30-30 calibre rifle, Cloud II was shot and killed.
The wounded suspect was captured later that afternoon.
Cloud II is the only OPP dog to have been killed in the line of duty,
and he was the first police dog to be killed in Ontario.
Fittingly, he was buried on the grounds of the Ontario Provincial Police
District Headquarters in North Bay with numerous officers, local
citizens and school children (many of whom he had met during class
visits with Constable Carson) in attendance.
Cloud II's memory continues to be honored by the Ontario Provincial
Police as his remains were relocated recently to The OPP Museum at OPP General Headquarters in Orillia. The relocation came as a
result of a move by the OPP facility to a new site in North Bay, and
the desire of local officers to not to leave him behind. A recognition
ceremony was held in Orillia on January 20, 2012 to mark the occasion.
OPP Canine Unit
The OPP Canine Unit was formed in 1965, at which time only three teams
were trained to provide support services to all of the OPP and other
law enforcement agencies across the province.
There are currently 28 teams, each team consisting of a dog and a
handler. There are also an additional 16 dogs trained for specific
Each team is stationed at strategic points throughout the province,
providing canine support for search and rescue, tracking wanted
persons, detecting narcotics, searching for cadavers, as well as
firearms, explosives and physical evidence.
Canine teams are also involved in community service work, fundraising
and public demonstrations.
Canine teams undergo 16 weeks of intensive training at the OPP Academy
Canine Training Centre in Gravenhurst, Ontario.
Training includes promoting obedience and exposing dogs to obstacles
such as stairways, heights, ladders, tunnels, water, teeter-totters,
stationary jumps, plank walls, door jumps, culvert crawls and belly
crawls. These obstacles are designed to eliminate the dog's fear of
barriers and impediments.
Tracking is also an important emphasis in training. Training the dogs
to follow specific human scent over various terrain in all weather
conditions requires determination, concentration and patience.
OPP dogs are also trained to protect their handler on command, even in
the face of gunfire.
Much to the surprise of many, OPP dogs are rewarded by attention and
opportunities to play rather than with food.
Careful consideration is given to the selection of both dog and
handler. German Shepherds, aged approximately 18 to 24 months are
chosen for general service duties.
German Shepherds are renowned for their keen sense of hearing and smell,
their even temperament, stability, alertness and for their
dependability in various weather conditions.
There are also Labrador retrievers in the OPP's Canine Unit, given that
they possess many of the same keen senses that shepherds do.
OPP canine handlers have a minimum of three years of policing
experience, possess a high degree of self-discipline and patience, a
favorable attitude towards animals and they must be in top physical
condition in order to keep pace with their dogs.
Each dog lives at the handler's home and stays in an outside kennel
provided by the OPP. These outdoor shelters help dogs develop a proper
heavy undercoat that will protect them during cold weather assignments.
Canine teams use a specially designed vehicle to provide proper security
for the dog and special equipment storage.
OPP canine teams are on-call 24 hours a day for assignments anywhere in
SOURCE Ontario Provincial Police
For further information:
A/Curator, The OPP Museum
Phone: (705) 329-6889