How I saved lost 'female police officer' in distress

Joshua Mukiama found a missing dog (left) after police launched a massive search. [Phares Mutembei, Standard]

Joshua Mukiama was walking along the Meru-Maua road in Meru County when he met a police dog named 'Jet'.

He did not know the 'female police officer' had been reported missing from her station, Ngundune Police Station.

Mukiama was quick to note that the dog was unaccompanied, and being a lover of dogs, who has his own two German Shepherds, Mukiama won its trust.

My skills

“I deployed my skills and called it over, and it obeyed in measured steps," he said.

Mukiama said the dog was friendly and cooperative enough for him to realise it was in distress.

"When you are lost, it can distress you, and I was quick to note that," he said.

Mukiama said once he got hold of it, he visited some neighbouring homesteads asking for the owner of the dog.

"Nobody claimed it, and I decided to be with it for its safety. I could tell it was special because it was very well-groomed. I left my number with some people for them to call me if someone came looking for it," said Mukiama.

Since his home is in Karama, he had to board a public service vehicle, which presented another challenge.

"But my work was made easier because it was very cooperative and seemed to read my mind. Luckily, the matatu conductor and other passengers did not mind me taking it in with me," he recalled, speaking at his home.

Mukiama said he walked past traffic police officers at a roadblock before he boarded a motorcycle to take him home.

No resistance

"I carried it on my lap when I boarded the boda boda motorcycle, and it did not show any resistance. It was a very well-behaved dog," he told The Standard. 

Mukiama took the dog home, where he has a kennel for his two canines, but made sure to report the matter at the nearby Karama Police Post.

"Common sense dictated that I had to report that I had an animal that did not belong to me," he said.

Just like he had done before, he left his number at the police post.

Mukiama was shocked last Thursday when he received a call from the police, who came to pick up the 'police officer' immediately after the call.

"The police officers came and confirmed it was one of their fellow officers who had gone missing. I was happy that I took very good care of the police, because they are the people who provide us with the security we need," Mukiama, who does small business, said.

The canine officer was taken to Ngundune Police Station and moved to the regional police headquarters in Embu.

Her handler had noticed she was missing during a feeding exercise.

Mukiama said in her short stay with his own two dogs, the "officer" displayed a high level of friendliness and cooperation.

"I was feeding her choice pieces of meat. The day the police called me, I had been at the slaughterhouse for some nice meat cuts. My two dogs, both male, benefited a lot when she was here because they shared the meat with the 'officer'," he said. 

A source said it was of Belgian Malinois with a single worth up to Sh500,000 depending on the age. She has since been taken for medical tests in Embu.

Tigania Central OCPD Joel Cheokwony said: "The dog was taken to Embu by the regional dog master the same day".

Varied reactions

Locals had varied reactions, with some praising Mukiama for his kindness.

"Mukiama exemplifies the spirit of service to all because he took care of a 'police officer' in distress," said Dennis Mutea.

Martin Mutwiri, a Meru resident said: “A trained police dog cannot let an ordinary citizen handle it. If you ask me, I think it must have been undercover on a mission!”