Fond fur-well for captivating canine and partner in crime - The Solihull Observer

Fond fur-well for captivating canine and partner in crime

Solihull Editorial 1st Apr, 2017   0

A CAPTIVATING canine, who was one of the first police dogs on Twitter, is saying a fond fur-well to West Midlands Police – after joining his handler in retirement.

Labrador Smithy – who was originally a guide dog before going through the force’s dedicated dog training unit at Balsall Common – joined forces with PC Terry Arnett who had a handler of four other crime-fighting canines.

The @WMPcsidogsmithy account has attracted more than 3,200 followers after it was set up to share Smithy’s crime-fighting exploits and progress with the public.

Over the last eight years the pair have been involved in hundreds of West Midlands Police investigations – helping to carry out searches, sniff out suspects and bring about justice.

But the time has finally arrived to cur-tail their policing careers and the duo bowed out at Crufts after taking part in the force’s annual dog display.

Even then their police instincts came to the fore after helping to reunite a four-year-old child with his family after he wandered off at the event.

Father-of-three Terry joined West Midlands Police as a beat bobby in Chelmsley Wood but has spent the majority of his time as an officer working as a dog handler and a breeder.

The now nine-year-old Labrador was trained in sniffing out any signs of human life and has been involved in enquiries around the Nicola Payne investigation and also assisted other forces including the April Jones case.

The pair will now have the op-paw-tunity to spend more time together in retirement as Terry is keeping Smithy as a family pet.

Terry, from Coventry, who is involved with the Pilgrim Bandits charity, also received an award from the Kennel Club last weekend for his work with dogs.

The 49-year-old said: “There have been many memorable moments with the dog unit, and particularly Smithy.

“We have developed such a bond over the years and it is quite fitting we were ready to retire together.

“I have had a great time working with the dogs at West Midlands Police; it has never been dull and we were even needed to help out at Crufts.

“We have always had great support from the public and Twitter enabled me to give updates on Smithy’s progress.

“I feel quite proud of the fact he was one of the first police dog’s on social media as it showed that the force was looking at different ways of engaging with people.

“The work of a police dog is invaluable and now is time for the next breed to take over the mantle.”

To see the work of other police dogs and their handlers follow @WMPdogs on Twitter.


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