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Suffolk: Life-saving, crook-catching, award-winning police dog Max retires after eventful career in paw and order

PUBLISHED: 15:18 26 March 2014 | UPDATED: 15:18 26 March 2014

Max at rest

Max at rest

Archant

Life-saving, crook-catching police dog Max is enjoying his well-earned retirement today after a career in paw and order.

Max’s former handler Pc Neil Smith praised the award-winning German Shepherd who has been his partner during seven years of faithful service with Suffolk constabulary.

Pc Smith said: “Max was worth his weight in gold. I knew I could trust him with my life and he would back me to the hilt.

“For me he’s the best working police dog I have had in 17 years, and in the five years as a dog handler in the RAF before that.”

Since Max began his service in 2007 he has protected the public, Pc Smith and his fellow officers.

In 2011 his efforts he was given Suffolk Constabulary’s award for the county’s most successful operational police dog.

Pc Smith said Max excelled in catching offenders including one who had been stealing coins by drilling into machines in Woodbridge. Max caught the culprit after he tracked him down early one morning.

Pc Smith said: “We ended up retrieving all the drill bits and the drill. As we progressed the guy broke cover. The man put up a fight and kicked and punched Max, but Max still held on to him until I could get there.

“Another time Max located a vulnerable female who had taken an overdose. We tracked her and found her in undergrowth. Who knows what would have happened if we hadn’t found her?

“We also tracked a lady who was attempting suicide off the A140. She had gone off across a field and Max found her so he saved her life.

“Once in the north of the county a woman woke up to find her husband missing. He had Alzheimer’s. We tracked for about a mile and a half and Max found him having fallen down a gully and wedged in a tree about to fall into a stream. He would never have been found if it hadn’t been for Max.”

Eight-year-old Max also provided protection around the county when violence broke out.

On one occasion in Haverhill Max and another dog held large crowd at bay when police broke up a rave during which officers were injured.

Pc Smith said: “If it hadn’t been for Max and the other dog it could have gone very pear-shaped.

“A few years ago we had problems between two gangs in Norwich Road, Ipswich. Max held back a group of about 30 or 40 people on his own. God knows what would have happened otherwise. There were only three police officers there and myself.”

Now, Max is beginning new life and a working retirement on a large farm.

Pc Smith said: “I will miss working with Max immensely. He’s looked after me numerous times.”

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