Our bobbies on the beat rely on their canine counterparts to help solve many aspects of crime on Hertfordshire’s streets.
But in order to make sure police dogs are doing the best job they can – while ensuring their health and wellbeing are looked after – volunteers are needed to perform regular checks on them.
The Police Dog Welfare Scheme has a small group of independent volunteers who check the physical condition of animals that work in the tri-force area of Herts, Beds and Cambs – as well as quiz their handlers about the dog’s overall health.
The volunteers inspect the dogs during training sessions and at specific locations, examining the animal’s condition and its movements to check the crime-fighting canines are not carrying any injuries or being mistreated.
The vehicles the dogs are transported in are also checked for their suitability and maintenance.
The three force areas would ideally have six volunteers carrying out the role – but there currently only two, though two more have recently been recruited.
Any concerns they find are referred back to the inspector in the tri-force dog unit, who is required to take immediate action.
The dog unit is collaborated on across the three counties, and Herts’ police and crime commissioner David Lloyd leads the initiative for the entire area.
He said: “As both a proud dog owner and someone who believes that volunteering is key to making Hertfordshire a better and safer place, I am pleased to be leading the police dog welfare scheme for the three counties.
“The police dog welfare volunteers play a small but important role in making sure that police dogs are well cared for and being kept in appropriate conditions. “There are many ways you can give your time to help make where you live a better place, even if you have only a small amount of time to spare every month.
“These volunteering opportunities can vary from getting involved with Neighbourhood Watch to tackling speeding with a DriveSafe scheme to becoming a Special Constable.
“If you’re interested in volunteering for the dog welfare role, should a suitable position become available, please also contact my office and we will keep your details on file.”