Cheshire Paw-lice get started on protecting the county
North Wales and Cheshire Alliance Dog section are welcoming Cheshire Police’s newest recruits – puppies who are training to become the county’s next police dogs.
They will people across the county while some are also being trained to detect firearms, ammunition, cash, drugs and crime scene evidence.
This is what awaits fiery puppy Keo when she starts her training with handler, Helen Evans.
Sergeant Howard Watts from the Alliance Dog Section explained: “Keo is going to be a search dog, a detection dog, and she will be trained to search for specific scents. The training for Keo will all be very fun and praise driven. She will be taught that if she finds a particular scent she will get her ball as a reward.”
Meanwhile handler Richie Land will be training Logan to be general purpose police dog which involves finding property, people and criminal work, as well as firearms support.
The dogs remain with their handler for the duration of their working life, usually staying with them as a pet after they retire with their handler.
New legislation to protect service animals such as police dogs came into force last month. The Animal Welfare (Service Animals) Bill, known as Finn’s Law, will prevent those who attack or injure service animals from claiming self-defence.
It is named after Finn, a police dog who was severely stabbed while on duty with his handler, as his attacker could only be charged with criminal damage.
Sergeant Watts explained: “The dogs in North Wales and Cheshire, in fact across the UK, have been very much seen as property. “I’ve been a dog handler now for the best part of 20 years and for 20 years we’ve had many dogs who have been assaulted and hurt quite badly, career ending injuries, and the most people have been charged with is criminal damage. For a long time we have been campaigning because truthfully the dogs require the status of officers- they are doing a really good job serving the public of North Wales and Cheshire, putting themselves in harm’s way every single day and its only right that they are afforded protections which they are now being given by the excellent Finn’s Law. It will hopefully make people think twice about what they do to these animals, and, if they do something, there is going to be something more robust there to deal with them.”