Three lucky dogs have recently left the Dogs Trust and started new lives with Nottinghamshire Police, the latest in a long line of recruits to go from rescue centres to life in forces across the country.
Police Dog Rocket, a Belgian Malinois, has already proved his exceptional ability to track suspects and last month sniffed out his first criminals. He is one of 70 dogs in the last few years have been rehomed from Dogs Trust to police forces across the UK where they have gone on to work as successful service dogs.
These dogs can be any breed and usually end up in their roles because of their personality traits. Two-year-old Dougie (pictured above), a black Labrador cross, is now a drugs detection dog and has been successful during numerous operational deployments.
Staff working in Dogs Trust rehoming centres are trained to spot dogs with extra special crime fighting potential and work with Police Forces signed up to the Animal Welfare Scheme to match them and provide ongoing support. The third dog to start with with Nottinghamshire Police is Rocky, a Golden Labrador, recently certified as a drugs, cash and firearms sniffer dog and he has made a strong start finding hidden drugs on his very first job.
Chief Inspector Amy English, who is responsible for the dog section at Nottinghamshire Police, said, “Finding good candidates for Police dog training is not easy so we are grateful to the Dogs Trust for putting forward such excellent candidates. These dogs may not have had the best start in life, but they have now found a long-term home with us and are absolutely thriving in the care of their expert handlers.”
Dogs have been used in the emergency services since the Middle Ages when law enforcement officers hunted down outlaws with bloodhounds. Today dogs still play a huge role in the emergency and rescue services with varied roles from sniffer dogs, search and rescue, criminal apprehension, missing persons, public order and of course many dogs are now employed in wellbeing support.
There are around 2,500 police service dogs operating within police forces across the UK and the fire and rescue service even have dogs that are specially trained to identify substances that can start fires. Responding to the recent earthquake in Morocco, the UK ISAR team take specialist dogs to countries in need after disaster strikes, where they play a vital role in finding people and saving lives.
Photo credit: PD Dougie with officers from Nottinghamshire Police.