3 May 2019
New dog kennels at Linton Military Camp opened today by Minister of Defence Ron Mark will ensure the New Zealand Defence Force’s (NZDF) military working dogs will continue to be cared for in line with international best practice.
“The value of these highly trained working dogs to the NZDF is reflected in the care taken in providing an environment that protects them and their welfare,” Military Working Dogs Capability Manager – Land Alan Inkpen said.
“These dogs save lives, so ensuring they are in peak physical condition supports our military’s operational effectiveness, and the safety of our personnel,” Mr Inkpen said.
“International research has enabled us to develop a facility that ensures we can monitor and house our dogs in a way that ensures they maintain peak condition.”
Loved by generations of handlers, New Zealand’s military working dogs have a long and proud history. The new facility has been named Ceaser Lines, after A Company, 4th Battalion, New Zealand Rifle Brigade bulldog mascot Ceaser.
His handler, Rifleman Thomas Samuel Tooman, was an ambulance driver in the First World War and trained Ceaser as a Red Cross dog to find wounded soldiers on the battlefield.
Ceaser helped save countless lives before being killed in action in the Battle of the Somme. His collar is in the Auckland War Museum and a book, Caesar the Anzac Dog, has been written by Rifleman Tooman’s great niece Patricia Stroud, who was a guest of honour at the opening ceremony.
“The community support for this new facility was a key factor in ensuring we were able to deliver this valuable new facility,” Mr Inkpen said.
The facility can house up to 12 dogs at a time. The project was delivered on time and under budget through a collaboration of NZDF personnel, Army Engineers, Defence Estate and Infrastructure and local contractors