A police dog with the unit covering Herts and Beds is bow-wowing out after nine years on the job.
Ted, a Springer spaniel, is a highly trained drugs and firearms sniffer dog but now spends his time playing with a tennis ball or collecting apples.
PC Jason Keir, who has been Ted’s handler and constant companion since 2004, said: “Ted is a real personality and an excellent police dog. Over the years he has found firearms and large amounts of drugs and cash and helped lock criminals up to keep the public safe.
“During Ted’s service he had two ligament operations on both back legs at different times, which would normally mean early retirement, but he made such a good recovery after both operations and managed years more service.
“I visit him to ensure he has settled in, which took him less than a week, and he is still so energetic - he spends hours playing with his beloved tennis ball or collecting rotten apples from his new owners’ garden and stacking them in his new home to play with later.
“After having Ted for nearly nine years I do miss him and so do my children but I know he is having a nice life being spoilt, sleeping on a sofa and living indoors for the first time.”
Ted, who was gifted to Beds police in 2003, has retired to Sawtry at the age of 10.
Since April the Beds and Herts Dog Unit has attended 1,395 incidents and made 214 arrests as a direct result of the dog handlers and their work.
The unit, which has 39 dogs made up of four breeds, has three different types of core skills.
The first – the general purpose dog – are usually German shepherds and are used for everyday patrol, tracking and searching for offenders and missing people, together with crowd control.
The second – the proactive dogs – are sniffer dogs trained to locate drugs, money, firearms and explosives.
The third – passive drug dogs – are trained to locate drugs in busy environments and often work undercover with their handlers.
The unit often re-homes dogs if they are unable to fit into family life and these dogs can often become excellent police dogs.
If you have a dog that you think may make a good police dog you can call the Dog Unit on 01707 354476 during office hours.