Birthday boost for police dogs

A KIND-hearted 76-year-old woman celebrated her birthday at a Suffolk sheltered housing complex by raising hundreds of pounds to buy stab vests to protect dogs like Axel and Foley who are out on the front line of police work.

A KIND-hearted 76-year-old woman celebrated her birthday at a Suffolk sheltered housing complex by raising hundreds of pounds to buy stab vests to protect dogs like Axel and Foley who are out on the front line of police work.

When many people would quite rightly be thinking of themselves on their birthdays Joan Bedford-Lane and her friends were busy raising money for Suffolk Constabulary.

About 70 invited guests enjoyed a buffet, made donations, and bought raffle tickets at the Blue Lounge in Coopersfield, Debenham near Stowmarket.

And grateful officers brought drug sniffer dog Foley, a four-year-old Spaniel and Axel, a six-year-old German Shepherd used to track criminals or locate missing people, to meet residents and say thank you for their efforts.


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Mrs Bedford-Lane, who also established neighbourhood watch scheme locally, hopes the funds raised at the Coopersfield buffet will now be used to provide the dogs with new equipment, including possibly stab vests.

A total of £400 was given and she said: “The dogs and their handlers do a marvellous job fighting crime on the front line and I wanted to do my bit to support them.

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“It's awful to think they may get hurt in the line of duty, so the money may be used now to buy them stab vests.”

Nick Emerick, a sergeant based at Debenham, said: “Joan loves animals and wanted to raise funds for our dogs, which we think is just wonderful.”

Dog handler Pc Linda Reed, who is based at Lowestoft, said: “We are very grateful for the support of Coopersfield in Debenham and their generous donation to the dog section.

“Police dogs play a vital role in many scenarios, from helping to find a missing person to tracking an offender or sniffing out drugs.

“The constabulary is always on the look out for new canine recruits, as police dogs retire between the ages of seven and ten, depending on their breed, and what they have been doing. The donation will help us to support our current dogs and our newest recruits.”

To find out more about the work of police dogs visit the force's website www.suffolk.police.uk

Have you used a birthday to raise money for good causes? Write to: Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk>

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