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Pup Idol - finding a star spaniel

West Midlands Police is searching for a star spaniel in the aptly named contest "pup-idol".

The pups through to the finals are Olivia, Olympia, Oriel, Oxo and Oasis for the girls... and just Odem for the boys. They were all born to the Dog Unit at Balsall Common on December 8th 2012.

They've all got a great future ahead of them as specialist search dogs that will be trained to help police hunt for weapons, drugs, cash, explosives or stolen items. This competition will see one of them branded 'top dog' at West Midlands Police.

Fund set up for retired police dogs

They protect us in some of the most dangerous situations and help to solve crimes but do you know what happens to police dogs once they retire?

Well mostly the animals remain with their handlers as pets, but that means the handler is also responsible for all the costs. Now a new fund has been set up to help to look after police dogs once they retire. Kate Fisher reports

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Fund set up to pay former police dog's surgery

A fund is being set up for the owners of police dogs in the West Midlands who require costly operations after they've done their duty in the force.

Police Handler Dan Thomas says retired dogs should receive similar benefits to officers.

Janus, the dog who's retired in his care, now requires an operation that will cost £1,000. A fund has been set up to help pay for treatment.

Fund to help pay for former police dog operations

A fund is being set up for the owners of retired police dogs in the West Midlands who require costly operations.

Janus, who retired from police duty last year, needs a leg operation. His handler, Dan Thomas, is still responsibile for his care and would have to pay the bills others..

A fund has been set up to help with the costs of the £1,000 bill.

PC Dan Thomas with Janus Credit: West Midlands Police

Charity to be set up for retired police dogs

PC Dan Thomas Credit: West Midlands Police

A charity fund is being set up to help care for retired West Midlands Police dogs.

The aim is to stop the dogs becoming a financial problem for their owners who adopt them as pets.

David Hibbert, a volunteer West Midlands Police puppy walker, said: "Police dogs play a vital role in cutting crime and protecting the public – but when they retire from service they don’t receive any financial support or ‘pension’ as such."

WM Police officer and his dog up for Crufts award

West Midlands Police officer Dan Thomas, and his retired police dog Janus, are up for a prestigious award at this year's Crufts.

The pair have been entered into the Friend for Life category after Janus helped with the arrest of 285 crime suspects in four years.

Crufts has released a video of all the finalists in the category, including a dog that helped save the lives of two soldiers in Afghanistan and survived capture by the Taliban.

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West Midlands Police pair to take centre stage at Crufts

Dan Thomas with best friend Janus Credit: WM Police

Dog handler Dan Thomas and his retired police dog Janus, will take centre stage at Crufts this year, after being shortlisted in the event’s popular Friends for Life competition.

Due to Janus' policing excellence, 285 crime suspects have been arrested since 2008. He also assisted in a further 157 captures.

Janus retired to live with PC Thomas at the end of last year.

It’s the first time a West Midlands Police dog and its handler have been nominated for the award. The pair are up against some tough competition including a dog that helped save the lives of two soldiers in Afghanistan and survived capture by the Taliban.

“The bond between dog and owner is special but the bond between a working dog and handler is amazing. I've spent more time with him over the last few years than my own family," said Dan Thomas.

“He has depended on me and I’ve equally depended on him many times when he’s come to my aid and fended off violent offenders."

Crufts runs from 7-10 March at the NEC.

Month old police puppies developing quickly

Nine force puppies were born last month Credit: West Midlands Police

West Midlands Police have said its nine Springer spaniel puppies, who were born last month, are already demonstrating the inquisitive nature that'll help keep the region's streets safer.

By the time the puppies - three boys and six girls - reach their second birthday they'll be transformed into search specialists.

The puppies are called Odem, Orville, Osca, Oreo, Olivia, Olympia, Oriel, Oasis and Oxo.

Terry Arnett, Breed Scheme Manager, said: "It’s incredible how quickly they develop: for the first 10 days they can’t see and are totally dependent on their mum. But just a couple of weeks later they’ve pretty much trebled in size and are developing their own little personalities."

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