Steppe gray wolf Akella has been living in the police canine section for over a year, after local police took him in as month-old cub. Akella lives side by side with a female German shepherd, and Luhansk police hope this pair will produce a new breed of talented sniffer dog.
Canine section director Andriy Pohorily says that such cross breeding has already been done in Russia and the results are very promising. "These crossed breeds have a better sense of smell, they track much better. They are very strong" Pohorily says.
The Luhansk police department relies on their canine unit, with about 2,000 crimes solved with the help of police dogs last year. Currently the department is preparing crime-fighting dogs for the EURO 2012 soccer championship that Ukraine is hosting together with Poland.
The dogs are used to search for explosives, drugs, and tracking. "These dogs are real crime fighters" Pohorily says.
RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service has more photos of the dog-wolf pair.
-- Irena Chalupa