Handler PC Todd
PD Duke was imported from Germany in 2009 and was chosen by his handler in the UK by PC Claire Todd in December 2009 due to her first dog being retired early from cancer.
Duke didn’t know any English commands so Claire had to learn his German commands. Duke later became bilingual which always impressed the children on school talks and community displays with him responding to the command in both English and German.
PD Duke and Claire went to South Wales Dog Section for their basic course and successful passed on the 08/04/2010.
Duke had a very successful career. He tracked and located several drink drivers, offenders and missing people.
He had several operational bites his first was the driver of a stolen van that had been pursued by traffic officers and decamped. Duke deployed on a straight chase bringing the offender to the floor by his right arm. Another memorable incident was where Duke tracked an offender who had punched and broken the nose of an elderly man in an unprovoked day time attack. Duke tracked and located the male hidden in a front garden. The male ran at Duke aggressively, Duke bit him without hesitation and continued to do so even when being kicked by the offender who was totally off his head on drugs. Without Duke several other members of the public or officers would have been injured by the extremely violent man.
Duke also searched a bookmakers in Quedgeley, Gloucester following a break in progress report in the early hours of the morning. It was a case of right place right time as Claire and Duke were seconds down the road when the call came into the control room. Duke located two offenders hidden in the toilets and another hiding in a cleaning cupboard. All 3 had been trying to remove the safe. They were well known offenders, also all wanted in other forces for similar offences and all sentenced to prison.
Duke made the local papers when he tracked through several gardens after two burglars and located them hiding under a car. Duke also located the stolen property valued at £4,000. Just showing how valuable our police dogs are.
In 2015 Duke developed a limp on his back leg, even with rest the limp got progressively worse at a fast rate and Duke could not lift his leg off the ground dragging it behind him. During tests the vet suspected it was a tumour on his spine. Duke collapsed on both rear legs and sadly had to be PTS on 31/12/2015 with his handler by his side. We never knew his true age (no paperwork was ever received for him) but believe he was about 9 years old when he passed away.
He will always be remembered this is one of his handlers favourite photos of him. Duke loved playing with the snow and loved swimming. RIP Duke
Handler PC Powles
Police dog Ammo had a troubled life from the day he was born, rehomed four times due to his aggressive and boisterous nature. Ammo was left languishing in a rescue home not sure of his long term fate. It was around this time that PC Phil Powles was assigned to locate a new dog for an upcoming course. Having searched high and low for his new dog, Phil got wind of Ammo and his previous background.
Phil brought Ammo back to force, and after a tough start together, a friendship and bond soon formed with the team. They successfully passed out after a 13 week course. Ammo just needed to channel his energy and it was obvious that he was born to be a Police Dog. The team went onto successfully deal with many jobs, tracking suspects, searching for vulnerable missing people and supporting his colleagues out on division.
One night, PC Powles and Police Dog Ammo attended a break-in in progress where it was believed offenders were still on the premises. On arrival a rear window was found to be open and a witness stated she had seen the offender jump a fence at the back of the property, and had fled through gardens.
PC Powles sent Ammo over the fence and straight away he picked up the scent of the offender and set off in pursuit. Ammo and PC Powles soon found themselves jumping another garden fence.
As the team searched the gardens for the offender Ammo jumped a chain link fence into an industrial area. As he went over the fence he got his paw trapped in one of the holes in the fence resulting in him hanging off the ground by his back leg. PC Powles got to him quickly and managed to get him untangled. However, it was apparent by his yelps and shape of his rear leg some serious damage had been done.
A trip to the vets confirmed Ammo had snapped his cruciate ligament, with further damage to the knee joint. He needed intrusive surgery. A long operation was immediately carried out and a metal plate was fitted within the knee and leg to stabilise the joint. This was followed by months of rest and rehabilitation for Ammo. Against the odds, he came back to active duty.
Sadly, this was short lived. Within weeks Ammo snapped the other cruciate ligament whilst off duty. This required a further lengthy operation. The vet confirmed this carried a high risk of complications, including implant failure, infection, and even osteoarthritis.
With the existing damage to his other leg, and the potential complications highlighted, it was felt that Ammo’s quality of life would be poor. The handler and force, with deep regret, made the decision to put Ammo to sleep.
This was a devastating blow to the handler, his family, and their work colleagues.