Arctic was born on Friday, March 21, 2008, at the Police Dog Services Training Centre located in Innisfail, Alberta. His career handler was Insp. Leon Fiedler.
As a pup, Arctic was raised by Cst. Dale Ristau who was working in the Yukon Territory. Cst. Ristau did an excellent job of socializing Arctic in an area that offered limited training venues for a young dog.
In May 2009, at 11 months old, Arctic’s training began. Even though he was still an immature dog, he showed enormous potential as a Police Service Dog and worked with Sgt. Phil Graham to become fully operational.
Arctic graduated from the PDSTC in August 2009, and began working in an area surrounding Edmonton, Alberta, where he quickly established a reputation – both with the RCMP and with the subjects he pursued.
One of Arctic’s first operational drug searches involved assistance to the Edmonton Police Service, who arrested a subject they observed receiving a kilogram of cocaine; however, when the suspect’s vehicle was searched, they were unable to locate the drugs. Arctic was deployed near the vehicle and within 10 seconds provided a very strong indication on what was later determined to be a hidden compartment inside the vehicle. The suspect provided instruction to the investigators on how to open the compartment, and the cocaine was located inside.
Arctic also made a reputation for himself when it came to locating human remains. This may not have been as fun or glorified as locating drugs and catching bad guys, but it is still extremely important work that can bring closure to grieving family members. In one of his last searches before retirement, Arctic was deployed to locate human remains. Not only did he locate the remains for that particular investigation but also located the remains of a second person in an area nearby.
Arctic’s drive and focus allowed for great success as a Police Service Dog, and he pushed partner, Insp. Leon Fiedler to be a better handler. He routinely did things during training and operations, that would make Insp. Fiedler laugh out loud.
Arctic is 10 years old now and has been retired for almost three years. He still retains all the drive and traits that made him a great police dog, though he moves a little slower now and can’t see as well as he used to. He maintains a vigil in Insp. Fiedler’s yard everyday, and weather depending, spends more nights in the house than he once did.
He took great care of his handler and community. Now it’s time to take care of him.