Find out more about some of the retired dogs we are supporting. On average we have about 30 Retired Police and Fire dogs who are able to receive assistance from Pawsome Pensions.
Not all of the dogs can read, write and send emails, so below are the top performers who have told their story!
Bolt was born on 29th June 2010 and was originally named Rex. After being puppy walked Bolt joined the September 2011 initial course and after successfully completing the course Bolt was based in Plymouth for the whole of his 6 years service as a police dog. During his service Bolt became a firearms support dog and worked closely with our firearms team at many incidents. In December 2013 Bolt found a burglar hiding in an inflatable dingy during a break to a sailing shop; in January 2014 Bolt tracked over moorland for well over an hour to find two suspects who were arrested for burglary. In February 2014 a wanted male who assaulted an officer before fleeing down a rear service lane was located and detained by Bolt hiding under an overturned bath in a rear garden.
Bolt grew up in a busy household surrounded by children so when it came to rehoming Bolt in October 2017 Jeanette and her family were a perfect match. On our first visit to their house Bolt made himself at home, picked his spot in the kitchen, chose which sofa he’d have and chased the neighbours cat out of the garden! Whilst rehoming Bolt was the hardest decision I had to make, seeing the life he now has in retirement with his new family that adore him makes me realise it was the right choice.
Jack was a drugs, cash, firearms detection dog and retired from Devon and Cornwall Police in September 2017 after approximately 8 years of service. He retired due to arthritis in both his front elbows and spondylosis in his back. Jack lives with his handler and family and loves the sofa! He is on permanent pain killers, supplements and requires blood tests every 3 months due to his medical issues. He has also recently cost his handler in excess of £1700 due to an operation on his bladder.
Jack is a Springer cross Field Spaniel, born 15/07/08.
Jack’s most memorable job was on a New Years day when the team were requested to carry out a search for drugs following someone becoming seriously ill after a party. Jack searched so well around a large multi-roomed holiday cottage and grounds that after locating 7 separate ‘stashes’ including cannabis, crack, euros and gun powder we were asked to stop searching as the officers couldn’t deal with it all!
Vinnie, is a 6 year old German Shepherd who served as a GP Dog working alongside PC Brendan Trent, of Dorset Police. Vinnie was born on the 26.08.2012, was bought by Devon and Cornwall Police as a puppy and given to a puppy walker until he was 12 months old when he was allocated to PC Trent. In September 2013 he completed a 10 week initial training course and worked for 5 years. He is a muscular 40kg build with beautiful black and tan markings with a large head. Despite his intimidating looks he is a very affectionate, faithful and obedient dog. During his working life many of the criminal fraternity given the opportunity, refused to run away from us due to his size and presence. Vinnie served 5 years within the Police before being retired in September 2018, due to his health. Vinnie started to develop a problem with his hips. Unfortunately he does not have a diagnosis, however we know it is not hip dysplasia. It is believed to be neurological, the brain does not seem to be sending the correct messages to his legs. At the minute, this just displays itself as a slightly awkward gait. His back left leg scrapes a little on the floor, as he walks. Vinnie does not appear to be in pain and is still a very happy and content dog.
Due to Vinnie being a dog with such a wonderful temperament PC Trent took the decision to find him his forever home with another family so that Vinnie could thrive and get as much attention as possible. In October 2018 Vinnie went to live with the Harfield family in Dorset and got just that. In a short time, Vinnie has become a much loved member of their family. He lives with Cath, Dave and their 2 children, James (aged 14) and Lizzie (aged 11). The family took Vinnie on knowing he will have ongoing medical issues, which is such a wonderful thing to do. Vinnie is registered with us and we hope to help him in the future.
Vinnie has become a bit of a social media star so please give them a follow @VinnieRpd to follow what he is up to with his new super family.
Lady is a German Shepherd and worked as a dual trained GP and drugs dog from January 2011 through to April 2016 (5yrs). She will be best remembered for her trials success. Around October 2014 Lady and her handler Steve came 2nd in the Force Trials but went on to win the Regionals in February 2015 with an impressive 80% score, which qualified us for the Nationals to be held in Stirling, Scotland, in April of that year. Up against 21 other finalists from around the UK they not only placed a very respectable 6th place but won both phase 1 trophies for highest score on the track and highest phase 2 score. In February 2016 they entered the Force trials once again and won every trophy available (other than the 2nd place trophy). Unfortunately Lady then had to retire due to health problems. She now lives a very comfortable life with her new owners Dave & Terri in Exeter. Steve her handler is extremely proud of what they achieved at Force, Regional and National level representing D&C Police.
This Springer spaniel called Charlie was trained to search for drugs, money and firearms for the Devon and Cornwall Police. He retired in August 2017 and at the point of retirement he was with handler Mark S.
He turned 10 years old on 11th September 2018 after being retired at 8 years and 11 months.
He now lives with his new owners in Paignton who are Police officers but not dog handlers. Charlie can often be seen causing chaos in the waves on Paignton beach.
Bodie served from 2010-2015 with PS Cruwys . He is now retired at home with her and the family. He was one of our few dual trained GP & Drugs dog. He was a highly successful police dog and saved many lives and brought countless offenders to justice. The team’s career high was locating a kidnap victim tied to a tree on a track and the offenders present had weapons and were about to cause some serious harm if not kill the victim. The offenders made a run for it, Bodie was sent and detained the biggest of them. This then led to the other 2 offenders also being arrested as well. The team were nominated for a National Bravery Award due to this job and attended a ceremony at 10 Downing Street to meet the Prime Minister.
Ella is a Black Labrador Retriever and was on an initial Pro active Drug Search course in February 2006. She worked for 4 years as a Drug Search dog but had to retire early as she had arthritis in her front legs. It was hoped that allowing her to retire early would increase her lifespan and quality of life as continuing to work may have caused her condition to worsen rapidly.
When she retired she remained with her handler as a family pet and she has enjoyed her retirement living with her family. She turned 16 years old on June 1st 2019. She has slowed down and cannot get into a car unaided now but still enjoys a slow walk in the park. She has had a couple of strokes which have left her completely deaf and she has lost some vision but she has hardly any grey in her lovely glossy black coat and really doesn’t look her age at all.
The family have a 4 year old son and they are the best of friends, there are hardly any pictures of him at home where Ella is not photobombing him somewhere in the background.
Mouse & Smurf
Mouse and Smurf retired from Devon & Cornwall in 2014 and live with their retired handler.
Sultan retired from Dorset Police Dog Section on the 11-02-2018 (8 years old), he had served 7 years as a GP and FSD. He safely looked after his handler, Chris, from a very young age as they went through the Metropolitan Police puppy program together, PD Sultan, a big lad, 45kg came from the Met GSD breeding scheme.
Sultan, commonly know at home and work as Sully took his handler to great heights, a great operational dog with too numerous to count prisoners, took Chris to great success at Regional and National Police dog Trials as well as supporting Firearms Teams throughout the Region as a Fire Arms Support Dog.
Sully is a giant of a lad not only in stature but also character, being laid back but with great drive to work and a very simple out look on life, find the bad guy and bite him!
Sully sulks at home a bit as he misses work but I enjoy every moment with him and we still have great times together, he just misses biting the bad Guy!
Mitch came to Dorset Police and his handler Chris from a rescue centre (Margerate Green at Winterborne Kingston) at the age of 9 months. He had already been rehomed twice after wrecking two houses, he was a real little tear away, independent and determined. He was licenced when he was 18 months as an Explosives dog.
Over his career he has saved Prince Charles by doing clearance search at Poundbury (Dorchester) and saved heads of state at NATO, G7 and G8 and Irich summits.
He has been an excellent if strong willed explosives dog and his handler Chris will miss working him.
He has retired with Chris and settling well at home with Sully (Sultan) above.
Loki was one of the first Lost Person Search dogs to be trained to locate human airborne scent. Loki attended numerous incidents finding lost and vulnerable people as well as recently deceased persons. He has also saved many lives which would undoubtedly been lost given their environment and surroundings. Loki was part of a project within Devon & Cornwall Police which unfortunately came to a premature end. He was retired to his handler and spends his time watching sport on TV (mainly tennis, he LOVES a tennis ball) and munching on the occasional prawn cracker.
Blitz was a General Purpose Police dog trained to search, track and detain people. Blitz worked in Plymouth for most of his career, during the latter part of his service he worked with his handler in the training school teaching pups the skills they need to be excellent police dogs! Blitz was retired to his handler and is spending his retirement sitting in the sun and barking at the postman. His favourite toy is his rubber ball and his favourite treat is a cocktail sausage.
Blitz and Loki live together and share the same sofa.
Jack was also known as Gentle Jack before his police dog initial course, although he knew and loved his job as a police dog and would certainly do the business, he is still a big softy to this day.
He retired early due to ill health and has an ongoing heart condition as well as arthritis and spondylosis which is to do with his back. He is happily retired and enjoying his time with his handler living on Dartmoor.
He has always had a knack of getting himself regular visits to the vets right back to when he was at the puppy walkers and swallowed a very expensive diamond ring. The puppy walker thought she had lost it forever but with patience it eventually came out on Boxing Day. This even made the Spotlight news at the time, (must have been a short news day).
Jack, like all our police dogs, tracked numerous people good and bad and found people that had gone missing and where potentially not in a good place in their lives. Dealt very effectively with public order situations and even helped capture the Incredible Hulk and Batman one day, who had decided to climb Exeter Cathedral. He was quite often seen doing foot patrol in Exeter city centre and quite a few people would recognise him.
One that really stuck with me was one Christmas time and we were on foot patrol – I didn’t know it at the time but a mother stopped with her 6 year old son who had had a bad experience with a dog and was frightened of them. I knelt down and chatted with the lad about Christmas and Jack, and then Jack very gently sniffed him. I explained that was his way of saying hello and asked if he would like to stroke him. To the mothers surprise he said yes, Jack sat there and let him fuss him like he knew the lad was a little bit nervous. I didn’t think any more of this at the time until a week or so later my Sergeant received a thank you letter from the mum stating that her son was still talking about how he had met and stroked a real police dog, which she did not think would happen in a million years and that he was so much happier around dogs now. For me that sums Jack up, very intuitive, caring, and gentle when he needs to be. Hopefully my best mate and I have a few years left together yet to enjoy our time together.
Riley was born 05/02/2010 where he was puppy walked by an experienced puppy walker in Cornwall. Jill Curnow collected Riley from the puppy walker when he was 10 months old. Riley was a really good natured dog and they formed a bond very quickly.
They started their initial in January 2011 when Riley was just 11 months old passing the course and becoming operational in April 2011.
Riley had a fantastic career with Jill. His all around ability was second to none which helped them locate numerous criminals, missing persons and items of property. He had a great reputation amongst the section they worked along side ever though he had a tendency to steal their food if given any opportunity! His large size and confident manner meant Riley was also very successful in public order situations such as football.
Riley was (and still is) very protective of Jill and they know this has prevented her from being assaulted and attacked when out working. Even though Riley is a very forceful presence he is also very friendly when he wants to be.
Riley was also successful in police dog trials. Riley and Jill won the search trophy when we competed in regional dog trails as well as achieving the required score to qualify for nationals.
Due to Riley’s very even temperament and amazing natural ability he was also a firearms support dog.
Riley retired when he was 8 years old in March 2018 and Jill then decided to leave the dog section as well. Riley now lives at home with Jill. He is still fit and happy, enjoys his walks in the fields and woods nearby but also enjoys relaxing with his paws up on the sofa!
Molly is a 10 year old liver and white springer spaniel. She began her police service as an explosive detection dog in 2009 working until she retired with her handler, Chris Curnow in 2017. Molly has worked all over the British Isles assisting with many high profile events. She always displayed an extremely high drive and enjoyment of her work right up to her retirement.
Molly has fully embraced retired life and has discovered the luxury of central heating and the sofa but she still loves nothing more than mud and a tennis ball.
Molly and Riley live together and share the same sofa.
Shadow is a GSD from Dutch working lines bought in to Devon and Cornwall from RAFPOL breeders in Wales.
He started with his puppy walker at 8 weeks and went to his new handler Darren at 10 months when they started their initial course.
He passed with flying colours and worked from Camborne having many positive results in finding property, tracking suspects and locating missing persons.
Shadow retired at the age of 5 years due to lumbosacral disease which is a spinal/nerve issue affecting his back legs.
Since retirement, Shadow has enjoyed walks on the beach and relaxing in the comfort of his home with their other dogs, Rika, Freddie and Millie.
Police Dog Koda joined the Dorset Police on the 17th December 2009 at the age of 11 months. He was an emergency replacement for his predecessor PD ZUKO who had to retire at 8yrs due to lumber sactral decease. (The more observant of you will say, “well your dogs retire at that age anyway” but then they were working till 9). As Dorset Police were not part of a puppy program all our dogs were either rescued or purchased. Due to three dogs going down at the same time we were desperate and went to an importer in Hereford. We paid an extortionate amount for ie £3000 for Koda, a burden for the force but not for me as he turned out to be an absolute diamond of a work dog. He joined me and PD GUINNESS (A cocker Spaniel drugs/cash/firearms detection dog) and was an invaluable member of the team.
He was imported with the name of Rocky but I was not keen on that. I sat down with the children to come up with a new name. Having just seen a new Disney film they came up with the name, after a grizzly bear. It proved to be very apt.
His initial training was challenging as his drive was immense. I could only blame so much on the language barrier due to the fact that he had been imported from the Chech Republic but after 13 week of initial training he was on patrol and making the streets of Dorset a safer place.
He worked on till he was 7, when, during a training exercise I noticed that he was dragging his back right leg. A trip to the vet had him diagnosed with CDRM (Chronic Degenerative RadiculoMyelopathy) which basically means that he will eventually loose the use of his back legs. This hit me like Thor’s hammer. I was absolutely devastated to have to retire my best friend.
He had a great career with over 320 arrests to his name.
His story does not end there though. Like all my dogs, he stayed with me and for the first time he was allowed indoors. He is a much loved member of the family and still my best friend (Don’t tell the other dogs!!) and to be honest, he is just a big cuddly bear!!.
Sam worked out of Camborne with her handler Jason. She was retired slightly earlier than normal at about 7 years old, this was due to her ‘quirky’ personality! Many who have worked with/around her describe her as a little odd, which is quite accurate. She’s a very independent dog, very strong willed and doesn’t mind arguing when she wants to. Sam took a while to settle into her retirement, but rather seems to enjoy it now. She has taken to napping around the house and garden very well, but still gets super excited when it’s time for a walk or play time! Her favourite walk is to the beach, where I can’t seem to get her out of the water! She’s great with people, and loves investigating things, but isn’t quite so good with other dogs (or cats!). To keep her engaged and to develop a good bond her new owners kept her ‘working’ to a degree – she loves a bit of tracking or property searching, and is great at her obedience work (if not a little argumentative with her barking sometimes!). Sam has been retired about 12 months now, and she loves a little rub on her head when she’s tired and does have a very affectionate side to her.
Bowser licensed as a Police Dog in June 2013, and had a very successful 5 and a half years as a General Purpose Police Dog working in North Devon. He progressed to become a firearms support dog for the last two and a half years of his career. He was admired and complimented by all officers that worked with him and his handler, whether response officers, detectives, or firearms officers.
Bowser loved being at work, and thoroughly enjoyed his working life. He tracked numerous drink drivers during his career, helping to keep our roads safer. He also tracked and assisted in the apprehension of drug dealers that had evaded other officers. Bowser also used his nose to locate valuable evidence that helped bring offenders to justice, such as when he found weapons hidden in woodland after being discarded following a particularly nasty assault in Bude.
Bowser attended numerous football matches, enjoying the task of assisting in maintaining public order at both Plymouth and Exeter.
In 2017, Bowser took part in the Police Dog Trials. He came first in the regional trials, beating all the welsh forces, and the other South West Forces plus the Ministry of Defence Police Dogs. He went on to represent the South West at the National Finals in Northern Ireland that year, and achieved a very respectable 9th place.
Whilst a great Police Dog, Bowser was also a real character and loving family dog, who had bonded with the whole family with whom he resided. He was a joy to be around, and the response officers he generally worked alongside were as disappointed when he retired as his handler was. He is sadly missed by all who knew him, but no doubt loving his well earned retirement with his new loving family in Exeter.
Axel was born on the 3 June 2013, and was part of the ‘A’ litter the first bred in house by Devon and Cornwall Constabulary, from brood bitch Ruby and working Plymouth police dog Marley. He was puppy walked by Steve and Maria Pearce before beginning his initial course 10 months later alongside his litter brother Harry and was successfully licensed 3 months later. He was a very successful operational police dog in Plymouth for the next 4 years. Aged two he was deemed suitable for enhanced training to work alongside armed officers. During his career he received two commendations, one for tracking and detaining two offenders following a firearms incident and the other from the National Police Chiefs Council following a second firearms incident in Cornwall. Unfortunately he had to retire early aged 5 due to a condition described as being similar to sciatica in his back. He now has a fantastic life with Ron and Rachel on his own farm just outside of Exeter.
Thunder was one of 3 litter pups born on the 31/08/2011 and was bought by Devon and Cornwall Police at 10 weeks of age. His litter sister Ruby went on to become a reliable brood bitch. Thunder was the only pup from the litter that went on to become an operational Police Dog. He was raised within the puppy scheme and lived with the Boyne Family in Ivybridge until he went to his handler PC Ronayne at 14 months of age.
He went onto become an experienced Police Dog serving from 2013 – 2017 but sadly due to a medical issue had to be retired 18 months early. Unfortunately it was not possible for him to remain with his handler and once retired was rehomed back with the Boyne family where he continues to live a healthy and happy life.
Thunder was an experienced Police Dog having deployed to over 1300 incidents. He located 30 missing people, 50 items of property later seized as evidence and was responsible for over 70 dog arrests. He also contributed to the arrest of numerous suspects whilst in support of his handlers front line colleagues. He was always a very confident and independent working dog that was also selected to become a Firearm Support Dog.
Buzz and his handler Tim started together in January 2011. Buzz had numerous operational successes finding missing people, property and a number of bad guys too. As a team they were lucky enough to have competed in Police dog trials and had success in regional trials and competed in the national trials in Yorkshire. At the early age of 5 1/2 Buzz developed a neurological issue resulting in a unusual gait and initially some discomfort. Following some specialist treatment he returned to work for a short period of time before retiring early. He has been a family pet ever since and has been fantastic accepting numerous different dogs that have come through the house. He now lives a happy and healthy life with his handler Tim, his wife Helen and their 4 teenage daughters so he’s never short on fuss, love or attention. He still looks at his handler longingly when he goes off to work with his Spaniel “Bruce” but he’s got a lovely life.
Colin was an explosive search dog for just over two years with his handler Phil and has completed numerous operational searches in Devon and Cornwall as well as other parts of the country on mutual aid.
He is a very enthusiastic and loving dog but also very stubborn at times which led to inconsistency with the methodical system of search that is required for an explosive search dog.
After over 12 months of trying various methods of training to ensure he was consistent it became apparent that this was just the type of character he was and that this was not the role for him.
A decision was made to retire him early and he is currently living the live of luxury on North Dartmoor.
Zico, named after the Brazilian footballer, (Litter name Metpol Remembrance Sword) was born on 11/11/2010. He was bred at Keston by the Metropolitan Police and was purchased by Dorset Police at 7 weeks old. He was puppy walked by a Dorset instructor (Mr, Henrys) and was allocated to Sgt Batt aged 9 months. They were licensed on 09/03/12 (Zico aged 16 months).
He remained operational until his retirement on 15th November 2019 age 9 years. He has since been rehomed to a couple who live on the edge of Dartmoor and is already loving his moorland ventures.
Sally was born in August 2011 and was bought by Devon and Cornwall Police. From day one she was seen as a highly driven dog with a level of excitability. Sally completed her initial course with PC Andi Darbey in December 2012. With the team initially policing South Devon area before returning to Exeter. Sally’s three brother all became operational police dogs and her sister a brood bitch.
Sally was renowned for her vocal capability, she would even bark diving into water and come up barking!. During her career she had numerous missing people/suicidal and criminal finds. In fact one of her finds received a letter of thanks from a Commanding officer after she located an unconscious male who had taken an overdose in an area, which had been searched by officers.
Sally had a wonderful personality both at work and at home, often being referred to as ‘Aunt Sally’ or ‘Mustang Sally’. In February 2019 she was retired due to arthritis in her wrists. PC Darbey planned to retire her with her and her family, but due to taking on another Police Dog she decided to find her a forever retirement home where she could be spoilt rotten. What a home it is. She now resides in Probus with Wendy and her family, who absolutely adore her, along with their cat Gylly. Sally goes everywhere with them and can often be found swimming in the sea with Wendy’s children, relaxing at the pub or taking a boat trip.
Amber was deployed 2,376 times during her working career and she undertook 186 hours of searching for misper’s. Locating 31 mispers. She had 149 dog arrests and 44 dog assists and located 78 items of evidence.
One of her last jobs before retirement was a track from a motorcycle which failed to stop in Plymouth. Amber tracked from the motorcycle up through an estate, into a garage block.
She tracked 300 metres into a wooded area behind the garages up to the base of a fallen tree. She placed her head in an overgrown section of the fallen tree and began biting something metallic.
Upon taking out the item it was a large heavy locked money box.
Upon forcing said box open, it contained a kilo of cocaine, dealer bags of cocaine, cannabis, scales, knuckle duster, dealers list and on the bottom of the box was medication for the offender with his name and address on it.
Section 18 resulted in further evidence of dealing being found. The value of the drugs found by Amber was about £100,000.
Amber is now enjoying retirement with her handler Martin.
Bo and Max
Bo was born on the 20th of December 2010 and joined Devon & Cornwall police as a 8 week old puppy. She showed her ability at a very early stage in her career when she successfully tracked and detained three offenders who had burgled a garage. She was licensed as a GP dog in December 2012 and had a long and successful career with numerous finds of both suspects and mispers. Bo was an absolute joy to handle due to her intelligence and wonderful character. She retired from service on 1st of January 2019 and lives with her handler, Andy, and his family. Bo has taken very well to retirement and enjoys being the house dog.
Max is a 4 year old English springer spaniel. He served as an explosives detection dog, licensing when he was only 11 months old. Max unfortunately developed a sensitivity to certain noises and environments and for his welfare was retired from service in August 2019. Max is a typical springer with boundless energy and enthusiasm which has allowed him to settle very well into retirement, spending his days chasing pheasants and tennis balls. He continues to live with his handler, Andy, and his family.