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South West police dog to compete in national competition

PC Andrew Jerreat and four year old Police Dog ‘Elmo’ are representing Tri Force Operations at the National Police Dog trials Credit: Avon and Somerset Police

Avon and Somerset Police duo PC Andrew Jerreat and four year old Police Dog ‘Elmo’ are representing Tri Force Operations at the National Police Dog trials today.

The four day event is in Stirling where 21 police dog teams from various forces across the UK put through their paces to identify who are the top dogs in the country.

The dogs and their handlers will be assessed on the full range of police dog duties including tracking, obedience, criminal work and crowd control.

PC Jerreat entered the South West and Wales Regional Dog Assessments in March. He fought off stiff competition from 12 officers and qualified to attend the nationals.

This will be my first time in the nationals and I am really looking forward to the challenge. I am very proud of Elmo, he is an outstanding partner.

Elmo has been with me for 3 years and he came to me as a puppy from our breed scheme.

We have worked hard to become a team and continually strive for excellence.

– PC Andrew Jerreat

'Pay me £500 or I'll chop up your dog' - pensioner blackmailed over missing pup

A pensioner has been blackmailed with cruel phone calls threatening to cut up her beloved dog unless she pays hundreds of pounds.

Vivienne Garton began to receive the vile messages after he West Highland Terrier Ben disappeared from her garden on April 12.

Ben is ten years old and partially sighted

The worried 65-year-old put up posters over her home of Knowle, appealing for her pooch's return.

But one of the numbers was called twice by an anonymous 'middle-aged man' who threatened to harm the family pet unless Vivienne pays £500.

He left an address of an empty house in Bristol, which frail Vivienne has now handed over to police.

Ben is ten years old, partially sighted, partially deaf, and struggles to walk for long distances.

Avon and Somerset police have confirmed they are now investigating an incident of blackmail. Anyone with information is asked to contact police.

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Does your dog chase its tail?

Mr Darcy doesn't have much of a tail to chase... Credit: ITV News

Researchers at the University of Bristol are trying to find out why some dogs chase their tails or spin in circles and why some don't.

The School of Veterinary Science wants to sign up dogs that don't exhibit this behaviour for its study.

It has already recruited enough "spinning dogs" and now needs those that don't as a comparison.

For more information and to find out how to enrol in the study, click here or email spinningdog-study@bristol.ac.uk.

Firefighters rescue dog from frozen pond

Milo was rescued using an inflatable walkway Credit: Avon Fire & Rescue

A dog has been rescued by firefighters in Bristol after it fell into an icy pond.

The springer spaniel was unable to get to safety after falling into the frozen pond at Eastwood Farm nature reserve in Broomhill.

The owner of two and a half year-old Milo called 999. He slipped through the ice and was in the water for around 25 minutes before he managed to climb up onto an island in the middle of the pond.

When firefighters arrived they used an inflatable walkway to reach the island. They were able to get a lead on to the dog and walked him back to safety. He was unhurt - just cold and wet.

Dog abandoned because "he wagged his tail too much"

Street artists join campaign to not buy a dog just for Christmas Credit: Dogs Trust

Street artists have joined a campaign to make people think again about buying dogs for Christmas. A mural of a puppy wrapped up as a present has gone up in North Street in Bristol, reminding people of the slogan that a dog is for life not just for Christmas. The Dogs Trust is hoping to put buyers off and released reasons why owners have given up their pets:.

  • "He kept chasing frogs”
  • “He looked different after we walked him in the rain”
  • "He was too loving and needed too much attention"
  • “I’m worried our toddler will copy him and poo in the garden”
  • "He’s too playful - we haven’t sat down since we got him"
  • “My dog is old and going to die soon”
  • "He was scared of the cat next door”
  • "He barks every morning”
  • “He wags his tail too much”
  • "She’s seems hungry all the time and follows me around the house"
  • “He kept coughing in the night and woke me up”
  • “All the puppy did was sleep. We wanted a dog we could play with”

With more and more puppies flooding the Christmas market, all available at the click of a button - it is more essential than ever that our iconic message “A Dog is For Life, Not Just For Christmas” is ingrained in people’s minds.

We hope that this visually striking campaign will encourage people to think twice about the commitment of dog ownership before impulsively buying a puppy.

Our aim is to ensure that the artwork will be the only abandoned dogs the British public will see on their streets this Christmas period.

– Giles Webber, Dogs Trust

Claire Joselin from the Dogs Trust was in Bristol today to bring the message home.

We don't like people buying puppies at Christmas time because we see them coming in in the New Year when everything's calmed down and they've realised how much work a puppy actually is.

We get ridiculous reasons for dogs coming in in the New Year so we just want people to stop, think about what they're doing, how much it costs just before they do decide to buy a dog.

– Claire Joselin, Dogs Trust

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Depressed dogs desperate for new home

Lola and Sherman need a new home Credit: Ferne Animal Sanctuary

Meet Lola and Sherman, the furry friends from the Ferne Animal Sanctuary in Chard, Somerset.

The adorable pair have become depressed, and are now in urgent need of a new home.

They are often seen lying down with their heads in their paws. It is heart breaking to see, as they are normally such loveable, happy dogs.

– Tara Nirula, Acting Head of Animal Care

As an incentive to any would-be owner, the sanctuary will cover all vet costs, jabs, worming and flea treatments for the rest of the dogs’ lives. They will transport Lola and Sherman to their new home anywhere in the country, and throw in collars, leads, beds, bowls, toys, and a six-month supply of food.

It was apparently love at first sight for the doggy duo:

If either of them is walked individually, the remaining dog will lie in their bed sulking until the other returns. They always share a bed - even if it is a bit of a squeeze!

– Tara Nirula

They now need a place where they can be together for the rest of their lives. Both dogs are very friendly, gentle and happy to live with children age 10 years old or over. The sanctuary says they would be more suited to a rural home with space to play. They are house-trained, not destructive and fine travelling in a car.

For further details call the animal care team at Ferne Animal Sanctuary on 01460 65214, or visit their website.

  1. Daisy Gray

Dog attacks: critics say microchipping won't help

Government plans to microchip all dogs won't help stop attacks on children, according to critics. One Wiltshire MP says the proposals will hit middle class pet owners and fail to deter yobs from using dogs as weapons.

It's a view shared by a mother from Dorset, whose 3-year-old daughter was attacked by a dog nine months ago.

Daisy Gray's report contains some upsetting images

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