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(Updated 20/5/01)

GMP appeal for puppy sponsors

Greater Manchester Police has launched an appeal for businesses and individuals to sponsor its newest recruits - four German Shepherd puppies.

Sponsors are asked to pay a lump sum of £450 which will be put towards their first inoculations and general upkeep. In return, sponsors will be able to name their puppy, have heir picture taken with it, receive a framed certificate including a photo of their dog, regular progress reports and photos of the dog with its handler.

At present the four-week old puppies are being cared for by a GMP officer and his family but at seven weeks old they will be assigned their own handler who will be responsible for al their training. This will begin with play training then, at six months old, more formal aspects will be introduced such as obedience and searching techniques.

All prospective GMP dogs have to undergo an intense training programme which will determine whether or not they are suitable to join the elite team of dogs. It is hoped that these puppies will eventually be used for a variety of purposes including drugs and firearms incidents.

Inspector Jim Weedon of GMPs Dog Training Unit said: “This is the first time GMP has made a plea for companies and individuals to sponsor our puppies. We are hoping this scheme will prove to be extremely successful and benefit both parties.

“People wanting to be considered as suitable sponsors need to be quick as I am sure we will be inundated with calls. Anyone interested should contact GMPs Dog Training Unit on 0161-856-1794 or Valerie Watson, GMPs External Funding Co-ordinator on 0161-856-2211.”