PCC THANKS CHARITY FOR SUPPORT WITH NEW POLICE DOG

Earlier this month, Dorset Police’s dog section welcomed a new police dog to their team thanks to a donation from a south-coast charity.

PCC THANKS CHARITY FOR SUPPORT WITH NEW POLICE DOG

Xena came from Devon and Cornwall Police’s puppy scheme and was paid for with a generous donation from Sniffer Dogs UK and International (SDUKI).

The short-haired German Shepherd has been teamed up with Police Constable Steve Budd after his dog Tango retired in August 2014. The pair have just completed an intensive 10-week training course where Xena became fully licensed to work in the county.

Xena will now become one of Dorset Police’s general purpose dogs that are called to attend a range of incidents around the county, from helping to search for offenders and missing people, to dealing with public order incidents.

Martyn Underhill, Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner said: “Police dogs are vital to the work of Dorset Police, helping detect both missing people and dangerous offenders. It’s great to see this charity based in the South supporting the work of the force and helping to keep the streets of Dorset safe.”

Police Constable Steve Budd said: “Xena excelled on her training course and has all the makings of being a fantastic police dog. She has an excellent temperament and is more than ready to get out onto the streets as a police dog.”

Maggie Gwynne, CEO of Hampshire-based SDUKI, said: “Dogs play a vital role in police forces up and down the country. SDUKI raises money to give to any UK police dog section that asks for it in order to bring their numbers back up to fully operational strength.

“We are delighted to have been able to fund a general purpose dog for Dorset Police.

“SDUKI was established in March 2011 in direct response to successive governments slashing of police budgets and continues to work to provide police officers with the tools they need.

“In 2008 Police Federation figures showed there were 1,296 working police dogs in the UK. Numbers have now shrunk to less than half that figure in 2014.

“These units are working hard 24/7 behind the scenes, and often in harm’s way, to keep us all as safe as we can possibly be.”

SDUKI will be funding a second dog for Dorset Police in Spring 2015.

It’s been an exciting year for the Dog Section. Xena’s arrival follows the announcement that ten-week-old German Shepherd puppy Gus joined the Force in June. The dog is now seven months and is being cared for by instructor Police Constable David Henrys until he begins training with his handler in April 2015.

The charity relies on generous donations from the public to help support police dog sections up and down the country. You can find out more by visiting www.sduki.org.uk

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