Ned’s Wish is excited to welcome, in spirit, Parks Canada K9 – Attila! Just like her name, this gorgeous girl was a BEAST in all senses of the word. Keeping up with her police pedigree, Attila was born at Schooner Kennels on Vancouver Island, and recruited into the RCMP puppy rearing program. She teamed up with Park Warden Mike Henderson in August 2000 at the Police Dog Training Centre in Innisfail, Alberta.
Attila was born on Vancouver Island, at Schooner Kennels and recruited into the RCMP puppy rearing program. She teamed up with Park Warden Henderson in August 2000 at the Police Dog Training Centre in Innisfail, Alberta. It took a bit of time to gain traction, mostly due to Henderson’s inexperience, but the team rallied and completed the RCMP Dog and Handler course in December 2000, becoming operational by the new year in Banff National Park. A big thank you to RCMP Staff Sgt Garth Patterson and retired Sgt Bob Lowe for their effort and patience getting this team operational.
During this time Parks Canada and the Warden Service became mired in a labour dispute concerning arming Wardens with sidearms, resulting in a lengthy court process involving Labour Canada. This essentially ceased law enforcement activities for the Warden Service.
Making the best of a difficult situation, Henderson and Attila moved onto the Banff Visitor Safety team on a full time basis. Duties included avalanche forecasting, highway avalanche road control, assisting in rescue, responding to search calls, assisting local RCMP Detachments in a limited capacity and maintaining all the police dog profiles. As well, the team became fully immersed in course set up and instruction for RCMP PDS units in the avalanche profile teaching mountain travel and avalanche search skills. Attila was very adept in mountain travel, whether ski touring on the day to day forecasting missions or moving through steeper terrain.
Some of Attila’s highlights and most difficult calls included:
- The Rogers Pass, Strathcona Tweedsmuir avalanche
- Torngat Mountains (Newfoundland/Labrador) search
- North face of Mt Deltaform search
- Mt Assiniboine search including North Ridge
- Naked man track Fenlands area, Banff
- In total Attila responded to 395 calls to service including 4 avalanche recoveries.
Attila’s operational career spanned from 2001 to spring 2006. She retired to the Fukuda family ranch near Brooks, enjoying a great life with retired RCMP officer Harold Fukuda. (RIP Harold) Attila adapted to the Parks Canada career and thrived despite the turmoil within the Agency. Her ability to move efficiently and well through the mountains enabled her to take part in many serious missions. Her avalanche search skills were superlative and she provided strong value to Parks Canada search and rescue program.
Attila we welcome your great spirit to Ned’s Wish and we promise to honour you till the end of time!