Conservation Officer Service K9 Unit
In 2013, the COS identified a value in having Conservation Officers handle K9’s when responding to critical, high profile cougar attacks involving human injuries or fatalities. This provides a professional uniformed response by subject matter experts to ensure the safety of the public and the responders.
The COS approved a two year Provincial K9 Pilot Program and invested in two fully trained K9’s to assist COS staff in addressing human-wildlife conflict to protect human health and safety. These K9’s were also utilized to respond to livestock depredation or other conflicts involving cougars. The COS is presently in the process of purchasing two additional trained hounds to augment the present two.
Cougar issues are common in most communities within the Province and a professional response by uniformed COS K9 Handlers provides the capability to address any and all public safety concerns, reduces risk to government as a result of fewer non-government employees being directed to participate in high risk activities, and reduces cost to government by reducing the cost of employing contractors to deal with human-cougar and livestock-cougar conflicts.