A rescued springer spaniel has begun a new career in law enforcement, having passed his training to be a specialist police dog.
One-year-old Charlie was handed in to Dogs Trust Leeds when he was five months old after his owners realised they weren’t ready for a dog.
Just a few weeks after arriving at the rehoming centre in Leeds, the spritely spaniel caught the eye of the Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire Police Dog Unit who saw his potential to be a Drugs, Cash and Weapons (DCW) dog.
DCW dogs need to be bold and busy dogs who love to play. They need to be determined and inquisitive, and the police often choose Spaniels and Labradors for the role as they usually display all these characteristics.
Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire Police Dog Unit adopted Charlie and began his training to become a specialist police dog.
Inspector Iain Clark from the BCH Dog Unit said: “Charlie is a very happy and busy dog who just loves to play.
“The DCW training is all based on play and reward, so as soon as Charlie finds what he is looking for and lets us know, he gets a treat – to play with his favourite toy.
“Technically Charlie is working for us, but to him it’s all playtime and he thrives on it.”
Charlie passed his six-week training programme with flying colours and now works with his handler in the combined forces dog unit, going along to crime scenes to help sniff out drugs, cash and weapons.
Once his shift finishes, Charlie goes home with his handler to put his paws up after a busy day of play. On his rest days, he spends some quality time with his handler and their family.
Inspector Clark said, “The life of a police dog is very different to what many people imagine. Dogs like Charlie live and work with the same handler day in, day out, and all our handlers are dog-lovers first and foremost.
“It’s really a very good life, where the dogs get to play and be with someone all day, while also doing an important job on behalf of the police.”
Dogs Trust Leeds were delighted to see that Charlie’s enthusiasm and energy was being put to good use turning his tale from unwanted puppy to trusted police dog.
“Charlie is a lovely dog who likes to keep busy, so this role with the police really suits him down to the ground,” said Amanda Sands, rehoming centre manager at Dogs Trust Leeds.
“With a loving family to go back to at night too, it sounds like he’s really landed on his paws.
“Our rehoming centres in England are currently closed to members of the public but we are still able to rehome some of our dogs, using our socially distanced ‘handover at home’ process.
“If you have space in your heart to give a dog a new home, now and after lockdown, check out our website to see who’s up for adoption.
“We estimate that up to 40,000 more dogs could need support as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic.
“Experience tells us that many dog owners will face the heartbreaking decision to give up their dog. We want to change the tale and be there when dogs and their owners need us most.
“To see how you can help, please visit www.dogstrust.org.uk/changethetale. Together, with the support of the public, we can ‘Change the Tale’ for more dogs like Charlie.”