1. ITV Report

Plea for police dog to retire with handler rejected despite thousands signing petition

PD Ivy with Sergeant Dave Photo:

A sergeant who is retiring after 34 years will not be allowed to keep his police dog, despite thousands signing a petition in his favour.

Sergeant David Evans, who served with West Mercia Police, says he is "heartbroken" after not being allowed to take four-year-old Ivy with him when he retires in April.

The force denied his request after it was decided it "wasn't in the dog's best interests".

The long-serving dog handler, who has received awards for his bravery, has been told he will have to pass the Malinois cross German Shepherd, on to another handler to continue working.

We always have to consider the needs of the dog and the force at the time and to meet our obligation to spend public funds wisely and ensure best value from all our resources.

Although the dogs live with their handlers and have close relationships with them, they are not family pets. They belong to the force and are highly valued resources.

PD Ivy is very young and has many years service ahead of her. She will therefore stay with the force and be re-handled with another officer.

– Chief Constable Anthony Bangham