Police on hunt for canine crime-fighters

SUFFOLK police today appealed for the public's help in their bid to recruit more canine crime-fighters.

SUFFOLK police today appealed for the public's help in their bid to recruit more canine crime-fighters.

Owners who find their circumstances have changed or whose German Shepherd is a little too boisterous for them to keep are being urged to consider donating their pet to the constabulary as a 'gift dog'.

Sgt Mick Hart from the dog unit at police headquarters said: “We have ten general purpose police dogs at the moment and eight were gifted to us and have become extremely important members of the team.

“Two of our dogs are due to retire this autumn and we'd like to hear from anyone who may have a German Shepherd or German Shepherd cross which may be suitable to become a new recruit.

“We're looking for dogs between one and two-years-old who show a natural aptitude for work, perhaps they love to play, are extremely energetic and enthusiastic and curious.

“For some people these qualities may be proving too much for the family home. If that is the case, then we'd urge people to get in touch as your pet may be the perfect police dog for us.”

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The dog should be bold and confident but not overly aggressive. It should also have a bright, inquisitive nature and willingness to play with a toy.

To judge a dog's potential one of the handlers will visit it at home for an initial evaluation.

If the German Shepherd is considered a good prospect after a trial period, the owner will be asked to sign the dog over to the constabulary.

Once a gift dog has successfully completed its training it becomes part of the team enjoying a long career with its handler.

“For a dog with lots of energy and curiosity, being a police dog is fun and challenging,” said Sgt Hart. “What I would say to anyone who may donate a dog is if they do pass the assessment, they live an absolutely fantastic life and are extremely well looked after.

“It is the best job in the world and is very rewarding when it comes off and the dogs get to do what they are trained for."

For more information, call Sgt Hart on 01473 613723.

Do you own an amazing pet? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk