20th Aug, 2018

West Midlands Police puppy named in honour of brave schoolgirl

Sarah Mason 12th Feb, 2018

A PUPPY born into the West Midlands Police dog training scheme has been named in honour of a brave schoolgirl who chased a burglar from her home.

And if German Shepherd Robyn − who’s just three weeks old − grows up to be as fearless as her namesake then criminals had better watch out.

Robyn Birdsell and her family were treated to a tour around the force’s police dog breed and training scheme in Balsall Common where they saw the four-legged crime fighters in action − and got to meet some of the newest members of the Canine Corps.

Hatty gave birth to the latest litter − four boys and two girls − at the Dog Unit in January and will stay with mum there until heading out to some of the force’s volunteer puppy walkers to help with their socialisation and basic training.

And after careful consideration and cuddling Robyn picked her favourite pup.

The 11-year-old said: “They were all so cute it was difficult to choose and being called Robyn I guess I could have picked a boy or girl.

“This one came straight over to me, though, and looked very comfortable snuggling on my lap so I decided to pick her. Now I’ve named one Robyn there should really be a Batman in the litter.

“The police have said I can keep popping back to see how she’s getting on, I think she’ll be a brilliant police dog.”

Robyn starred at an awards ceremony last month when she received a Chief Constable’s Young Person accolade from West Midlands Police in recognition of her actions in June last year when she tackled a burglar at her home.

The 31-year-old, a prolific thief with a string of convictions, ran off clutching Robyn’s bag full of valuables − but what he hadn’t counted on was the plucky youngster running after him shouting “give us our stuff back”.

She grabbed his leg in a bid to stop him escaping over a garden fence.

He struggled free but Robyn had the last laugh as her evidence and detailed description of the offender helped detectives trace him and secure a jail term of almost four years.

Dave Raymond, West Midlands Police’s Breed Scheme Manager, said: “I’m sure pup Robyn will do Robyn proud. Around 90 per cent of the dogs we train are successes and go on to become operational police dogs.

“They play a really important role keeping the public safe, catching criminals and uncovering vital evidence.”

West Midlands Police’s celebrated dog breeding and training programme, endorsed by the Kennel Club, has nurtured almost 900 dogs from cute-and-cuddly pups to crime fighters on the region’s streets.

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