Jamshedpur: It is a final resting place of a different kind. Canines spending their lives guarding an auto major's premises here are buried in a graveyard for dogs as a token of affection for man's best friend.
A kennel came into being more than 50 years ago in 1963 in the premises of Tata Motor's sprawling Jamshedpur plant. That year the first batch of four to five dogs were trained by Bombay police.
The cemetery was set up in the kennel compound a year later in 1964 to keep alive the memory of dogs who died and as a token of affection for dogs who guarded the company premises, Head of Security, Tata Motors, Sqn Ldr Nasib Singh Kadian said.
Tata Motors has since then maintained the graveyard for its canine staff, which looks like those meant for people, in a systematic manner.
"As far as I knew, it is the only cemetery for 'serving dogs' in the country," Kadian said.
Spread over five acres, the graveyard has a total 34 well marked graves complete with details like the date of birth and death of the dog interred in it, its breed and the tenure it served the company, Kadian said.
The first grave is that of Rana Von Ekrul, which was set up in March 31, 1965 and the last one is that of Tozo, a Doberman, on June 13, 2013.
Kadian said dogs which had retired from service for about a decade are looked after by the kennel and their health is monitored.
He said the Tata Motors kennel has trainers for each dog, veterinarians and training facilities. The breeds comprised of German Shepherd and Mallinos (a cross breed of German and Belgian Shepherds).
"We have altogether - 12 dogs (six German Shepherds and five Mallions) and one retired Labrador at the kennel now," he said.
The dogs help the company security personnel catch thieves who break into the premises. They have also won laurels in kennel competitions across the country, he added.