RPD Heidi

RPD Heidi – Avon & Somerset 

(9 years)

Heidi came to Avon and Somerset aged 5 from Northumbria after her handler retired and they thought that she was too young to retire herself. She was a brood bitch and had a litter of 5 puppies.

She has the most loving and affectionate nature and adores a good tummy rub but made an excellent general purpose police dog too. She was very protective, rather vocal and had a really good nose. She competed with Louise at regional trials and in addition trained and worked as a firearms support dog. She is affectionately known as Gummy Bear as she’s lost a few teeth now.

RPD Fred

RPD Fred – Avon & Somerset

Fred worked as a drugs, cash and firearms recovery dog until he retired with Louise in March 2020 aged 8 years. He initially came to A&S from the Bristol Dogs Home as a puppy and was first homed with PC Glyn Jones and then worked with PC Leigh Hext where he was extremely successful . His last year of service was spent with Louise when Leigh became an explosives dog handler and PD Ollie recovered from a spinal operation. On his first operational shift with Louise he sniffed out £72000 cash concealed in the lining of a vehicle. He now spends his time with Louise and her family and his fellow retirees Ollie, Ernie and Heidi. He’s passed as a Pets as Therapy Dog and can’t wait to start his next adventure.

RPD Kaiser

Retired PD Kaiser – Gloucestershire

Police dog Kaiser sadly had to retire early at the age of 5 due to a leg injury.   Kaiser is enjoying his retirement with his handler PC Debbie Shields at home on their farm.    Kaiser had a fantastic career catching numerous criminals and locating vulnerable missing persons.    

RPD Daniel

Retired PD Daniel – Gloucestershire Police

Retired PD Daniel started his career in Avon & Somerset and during Tri-Force was re handled to PC Phil Powles in Gloucestershire.   PD Daniel and Phil caught numerous criminals during their time together.   PD Daniel retired in June 2020 and will be staying with Phil and his family to enjoy his retirement to the full.   PD Daniel received a K9 Memorial Medal when he retired. 

RPD Baz

Retired PD Baz – Avon & Somerset Police

Baz started working in 2008 and was handled by PC Phil Huggett. Baz was a general purpose police dog and also a Firearms Support dog. In 2013 Baz met Special Constable James Warren and they would all frequently patrol together attending many successful jobs. In 2015 James took on Baz when he retired. Baz is 13 years old and enjoying life relaxing with James at home.   

RPD Ary

Retired PD Ary – Wiltshire Police

PD Ary retired in June 2020 and is staying with his handler PS Chris Palframan and his family.   Ary had a great career as a police dog and is now enjoying life during his retirement.   

RPD Quanto

Retired PD Quanto – Avon & Somerset Police

Retired PD Quanto joined in 2007 and was handled by PC Alan Mallett.   He was awarded a Chief Superintendent Commendation in 2011 and Dog Action of the Year in 2012.   He retired in 2017 aged 10 years and currently lives with his handler and is enjoying his retirement.   

 

RPD Tyke

Retired Police Dog Tyke – Wiltshire

Police Dog Tyke retired from Wiltshire police in 2019 having served as a general purpose police dog and a Firearms Support Dog with his Handler PC Cindy Hargreves. Tyke is enjoying his retirement at home with Cindy.    

RPD Ollie

Retired PD Ollie – Avon & Somerset

PD Ollie retired with his handler PC Louise Grabham in Somerset in 2020. Ollie had a very successful career as a Drugs, Cash & Firearms recovery dog.   Ollie is now enjoying life at home with Louise who also retired from the police force in March 2020.  

RPD Max

Retired Police Dog Max – Wiltshire Police

Police Dog Max was a very successful Police dog in Wiltshire catching numerous criminals and locating vulnerable missing persons.   Max is enjoying his retirement to the full at home with his Handler PC Tracy Doughty.

RPD Jake

Retired PD Jake – Avon & Somerset

PD Jake retired in August 2020 after a fantastic career as a specialist drugs, cash & firearms recovery dog. At the age of 11 years Jake has had a full successful career and now deserves a very happy healthy retirement with his new family.

 

 

RPD Aden

Retired PD Aden – Avon & Somerset Police

Retired PD Aden came from the A&S “A Litter” breeding programme in 2010. He became National Police Dog Trials Champion with his handler PC Nick Dalrymple in 2013 and Regional Champion in 2012/2013/2014. PD Aden was a Firearms Support Dog who retired with Nick and is enjoying his retirement.

RPD Paddy

Retired Police Dog Paddy – Avon & Somerset

Police Dog Paddy Retired aged 11 years 7 months (68 in Dog years) March 2019

Well, let me introduce myself. I am Police Dog ‘Paddy’. I am a black Labrador (slightly grey around the edges now)!

March was my final week as an explosive detection dog working for Avon and Somerset Constabulary after serving there for some 55 dog years.

At 11 months old, I was a rather lively puppy and a little head strong so was gifted to the Police to see if I could use my energy in a more positive manner.

I was at the police training facility for a few days and I was evaluated for my suitability. A bit like our recruitment process for new officers (was I fit enough for the role/how did I react in different situations/and what was my drive like to succeed). I must have done fairly well as a friendly officer came and visited me with treats in his pocket and plenty of tickles and fuss.

This same officer, after 30 mins of play, took me with him and I’ve been his partner and friend for the last 55 dog years.

I flew through my initial course which lasted 8 weeks. This was 8 weeks of fun.It was really a simple game of hide and seek, and the course instructors would spend most of their time teaching me to smell a number of substances then try to trick me and my handler by hiding them from us. They did this in lots of ways and places but with my nose and the occasional bit of help from my handler, we always won.

As an explosive search dog my job is to keep people safe and over the years I’ve been deployed with my handler to lots of different situations and locations. My handler always says how proud he is of me having searched in every country in the United Kingdom.

I have searched within Avon and Somerset force area on numerous occasions to keep members of the public safe in times of heightened threat or to deal with suspicious packages. This has included large shopping centres, airports and ports.

During this time, I’ve learnt to search aircraft and ships. I’ve even learnt to search at height.

During the Olympics in 2012 I made sure, along with other dog teams, that it was safe for both athletes and spectators alike.

In 2013 whilst deployed to PSNI, I was awarded a recognition award for working in a high threat environment for a number of weeks.

With an increase in threat to large crowded areas, I’ve also worked at the Commonwealth games in Scotland, the champions league final in Wales and many other sporting events.

To carry out the role I had, I was required along with my human partner to undertake 20 days training per year which includes a rigorous licensing process. I took this time very seriously. But it was also a time of fun with my human partner.

I’ve had lots of experiences throughout this time some serious and some fun. One incident springs to mind. I was searching the Theatre Royal in Bath as a member of the royal family visited that day. This was to make sure the location was both safe for them and other members of the public. As I was searching the 2nd floor my handler opened a door to the upper box and indicated with his hand to go in. Now in my defence it looked very like the up/jump command he does so I did just that and jumped over the balcony. As I hurtled through the air I heard a stunned gasp from the dignities gathered on the stage, a loud pained “NO” from my handler fading in the distance behind me.

I luckily landed on the walkway between the stalls seating. As I continued to carry out my search of the seating areas, I saw behind me my handler leaning over the upper box who appeared to me to look very ill with a pained look on his face which by this time looked extremely pale, (humans can be quite fragile at times). He quickly joined me and made what appeared to be a lot of fuss. I wanted to continue to work as I’m trained to do however my handler decided I needed to go to the vets! They gave me a full clean bill of health albeit, I was a little stiff for a couple of days. I think I came out of the situation better than my handler who seemed to age 10 years overnight?

My last deployment was with my handler and a new member of the team, PD Murphy on Sunday. I watched and checked that PD Murphy was doing the right things for my Handler/Partner. Murphy only qualified last week, and after 55 dog years of being crewed with my handler, I’ve become quite fond of him and wanted to be sure he would be safe.

It’s going to be different staying at home in front of the fire from now on but with PD Murphy looking after my partner/colleagues and members of the public I can rest easy.

RPD Bear

Retired PD Bear – Avon & Somerset

Bear retired from Avon & Somerset in 2019 and was rehomed to a new loving family in Gloucestershire. Bear now lives on a farm in the Forest of Dean with his new loving family. He is enjoying his retirement to the full. You can follow him on Twitter @bearrpd

RPD Ernie

Retired PD Ernie – A&S

Ernie retired year ago and lives with his handler Louise Grabham in Somerset. He is very much part of the family and loves children and other dogs. Sadly Ernie was diagnosed with a condition called gracilis contracture about 18 months before this not long after he was re-handled by Louise which led to his early retirement.

Operationally Ernie found numerous suspects and received a commendation for tracking to a drink driver that was suffering from hypothermia after he was located in a water filled ditch. Other memorable finds were when he located a robbery suspect under the floorboards of a loft space and a burglar hiding in a shed after tracking for 45 minutes.

Ernie also competed at regional trials and found that very exciting! He has adapted well but still loves to travel in the car on the school run. His mind is kept active by occasional training tracks and property searches with regular check ups at the vets and massaging of his muscles to keep him comfortable.

PC Louise Grabham

RPD Cass

Retired Police Dog Cass –Avon & Somerset

Cass joined Avon and Somerset Constabulary in 2009 and worked with her handler PC Paul Manley until her retirement in 2016.
Amongst her many arrests Cass saved the life of a 70 year old man who’s speech hearing and sight was seriously impaired. This gentleman had been missing for nearly two days and wasn’t found by search parties including police helicopters until Cass located him wedged in a ditch unable to move with a broken leg and suffering from serious hypothermia.

Cass now lives at home with PC Manley and really enjoys her walks.

PC 1872 Paul Manley 

 

 

RPD ‘ell

Retired Police Dog ‘ell – Wiltshire.

‘ell is a  8yr old German. She worked in Wiltshire through out her service and was a successful police dog. She had her back injured when at a football match and dealing with a major disturbance an offender was thrown on top of her.

She has mostly recovered but is now prone to back problems. Hopefully she will never need to call on WAGs but as she can’t be insured it’s nice to know WAGs is there if she does need help with vet bills.

PC Marie Poole 

RPD Solo

Retired Police Dog Solo – Avon & Somerset.

Solo was born in March 2009, he is KC registered and although I don’t know his KC name he was called Oakley before being renamed Solo.

He was put up for rehoming and came to A&S around May 2010.

Solo trained to become an explosives search dog and on qualifying worked with his handler Simon Castledine.
Having already rehomed Diesel I wasn’t on the look out for a second dog! However, sat in the report writing room doing some paperwork, in comes Simon who says the words ‘do you know anyone who wants to rehome my dog?’. ‘What kind of dog?’ I ask, ‘black Labrador’ is the response! At this point I engaged mouth before brain and said ‘I’ll have him!’ Quickly followed by ‘but he’ll have to get on with Diesel as he’s my main priority!’ No thought of how I was going to explain a second dog to my partner!

I took Diesel to meet Solo, they ignored each other! Both ran in different directions, noses to the ground wrapped up in whatever smell they’d found. However on introducing a ball to play with they shared beautifully. Solo was like a rocket going after a ball which made me realise just how slow Diesel was! It didn’t matter which one got to the ball first the other wasn’t fazed. A good sign this might just work!

My next hurdle was convincing my other half that we ought to have a second dog! He’s a cat person and I’m a dog person!

Growing up I’ve always had dogs, Rufus (14)a yellow Labrador, Tess (17) and Pippa (16) both Border Collies we had at the same time , Amy (14) taken on as a retired gun dog at age 5, Holly (16) taken on at aged 10 and Diesel.
My reasoning was that I’d had two dogs before and as you’ve got to walk one anyway having a second was no problem!
He wasn’t convinced, but Solo duly arrived! Solo also had been living outside in a kennel and had to get used being inside. His bed was next to Diesel but he wouldn’t go in it preferring to lie on the tiled floor.
Solo is a smaller build than Diesel and weighs in at 26kg, he also has a mind of his own and for the first 2 weeks refused to do anything he was told!

Diesel was a little jealous, having had his mum to himself he found he suddenly had to share! He also realised he has to share space on the sofa!

I don’t think Solo had ever been on a sofa before and the one person who wasn’t convinced about having a second dog was the one person who invited him up!

Whereas Diesel wanted to climb all over you, Solo was happy to curl up next to you and rest his head on your leg.
Solo needed to learn about the no going upstairs rule, 5 months in and he’s just about got it! Early days we would find he’d disappeared and I’d find him curled up on our bed! A few times I’d go to bed and as I was drifting off there would be a thud as he landed next to me, curled up and went to sleep!

Solo is also a swimmer, he loves the water, however unlike Diesel he understands the word ‘No’ just as he’s about to go into the same muddy, smelly pond!

Solo likes to rescue stones, he’ll happily put his head underwater and pick a stone up and bring it to the shore and go in for another!

In the 5 months that Solo has been with us, both dogs have really come together as a team, having spent 10 days away with them in North Wales in the caravan where they lived in close proximity they are learning new things off each other. There’s a little bit of a bromance going on between them, with Diesel licking Solo round his neck and if he stops Solo will paw him to keep going, it’s very sweet.

I now have two shadows that follow me about, I can no longer close the door of the downstairs loo if I go in, fitting me in with two Labradors no longer works!

Both of my boys are a big part of our lives and are a masdive part of our family, we wouldn’t have it any other way!

PC Michelle Gozna

RPD Barney

Retired Police Dog Barney – Gloucestershire.

Barney joined Gloucestershire Police and trained in Drugs, Cash, Firearms and Ammunition. He enjoyed his job and had several successful operational finds.

In 2012 Barney worked in London at the Olympics. He was up every night searching various Olympic venues for Firearms to ensure the safety of the public. Barney searched Wimbledon, Earls Court and The Horse Guards Parade. It was Barney’s first time in London and he enjoyed every minute. The highlight for Barney was searching Wimbledon with all those tennis balls!!

Barney retired and stayed with me. He enjoys life chasing his ball and cuddling his favourite teddy bear on the sofa. He lives at home with PD Stella the Staffie and PD Quest who are my current working dogs. Barney has a best friend called Flame who is our pet dog they go everywhere together. Barney is fit & healthy and enjoying his retirement to the full.

PC Claire Todd

RPD Diesel

Retired Police Dog Diesel – Avon & Somerset.

Diesel came to A&S when he was 18 months old. His original owners gave him to the RSPCA at West Hatch for rehoming.
He was identified as a dog with potential to become a Police search dog and so his training began.
He qualified as a drugs, firearms, ammunition and cash recovery dog in Euros and Sterling, and was placed with his handler Adam Paton.

I knew of Diesel and work on the same team as Adam, and in Jan 2016 happened to be in the police canteen when Adam walked in. He’d just been told that Diesel had to retire, and was rather upset about the news. Diesel had slight arthritis in his back legs and he was getting stiffer and slower in his searching and ability to jump up onto anything of any height. Adam needed to find a new owner, he would have kept him but he was to be given a new search dog and had other dogs at home and as much as he wanted to he couldn’t take on an additional dog.

At the time I had a 16 year old Border Collie who had been diagnosed with cancer the previous October and I was having to make that responsible but hard decision on her future. Adam and I had a discussion on timescales and it was agreed that I would adopt Diesel and give him his forever retirement home. I met Adam and Diesel a couple of times to see what he was like and to learn his commands.

On the 15th Feb 2016 I lost Holly my Collie, she had a lovely last day, but the void was too much and I asked Adam if I could take on Diesel slightly sooner.

Diesel arrived on the 29th Feb 2016, I met Adam in a dog walking field near Portbury, they’d had one last walk together, Diesel then jumped into the boot of my car and I took him home. Adam had a tear as he watched me drive away with him.

It took 3 days for Diesel to settle in! Less for him to find his space on the sofa!

We very quickly set up a routine, his bed was in the kitchen, a new concept for him as he’d lived outside in a kennel, and if I needed to go out or put him to bed, it was up the garden for a wee, back inside, radio on, key out the back door and telling him to go into his bed, within a couple of weeks of doing this every time I only had to take the key out of the back door and he was in his bed!

Diesel is very much my dog, he has a canny way of knowing when we’re talking about him, even if we think he’s asleep, his tail starts to wag at the tip! If you make eye contact then that’s as good as telling him you’re up for him to sit on you, at 34kg he’s one big cuddle monster! He does love his fuss!
He follows me everywhere, he had to learn that upstairs was a no go zone for dogs, I just don’t allow them up there, so he’ll patiently wait at the bottom for me to come down.

Diesel loves to play ball and will spend many a happy walk bringing a ball back to me, his sense of smell is amazing, he will usually dive off into the undergrowth, right into the brambles and return really pleased with himself when he’s found another dog’s ball.

Diesel also loves to swim, and will find the dirtiest, muddiest, smelliest pond to take a dip in! This usually happens when I’m on a time constraint and he becomes stubborn and refuses to come out! He’s made me late for work as a result!

When swimming he had a habit of needing to rescue drowning sticks! He will find one, bring it out and drop it at my feet then go back in for the next one! More than once he’s grabbed a stick which he felt needed rescuing only for it to be still attached to a tree and he’s happily treading water trying to bring it to the shore, unfortunately two people then thought he was drowning and that he needed rescuing! Oops!

Diesel has been useful in the local park where I walk him, he’s such a friendly boy anyone sat on the ground he’ll go and say hello to, mention the words “retired drugs dog” usually clears the park if these people are up to no good!
Diesel is now 10 and a half, greyer around his muzzle and slightly slower, but he’s loving his retirement, he gets walks in the country, trips away in the caravan and most of all, all the love a Labrador could want!

PC Michelle Gozna