WEST YORKSHIRE police have scored a possible first, by breeding a litter of German Shepherd Dogs which are the very first to have been bred from two police-owned parents- four-year-old mum, Ellie and two-and-a-half-year-old dad Harvey.
The force's breeding department is hoping the new arrivals, seven dogs and four bitches, will mean most future canine recruits will now be bred from the very best stock inside the police force.
PC Dave Cornforth, temporary breeding manager, said: "As it stands, we rely on what we call gift dogs from members of the public. When we take dogs like that, we have no knowledge of their background. A lot of hard work can go into making sure they reach the right level of training and development only for us to find out later that they have medical problems. This current method of sourcing dogs sees around 90 per cent of dogs assessed failing to make the grade.”
The puppies: Carlos, Cash, Cody, Chester, Chip, Casper Cecil, Chelsea, Cady, Casey and Clio, will find homes via the force puppy-walking scheme. The puppy walkers will help the dogs settle in while they take part in monthly puppy training days at the police's Carr Gate headquarters in Wakefield.
After basic training, the pups will be allocated to operational dog handlers with those that make the final cut eventually going on active duty, responding to incidents, tracking down suspects and missing persons and searching properties.
A long-term in-house breeding and whelping programme has been in place at Carr Gate since the beginning of 2005 and the Charlie litter is the third to date be produced by the unit.
PC Cornforth hopes the programme can stop West Yorkshire being a victim of a current national shortage of top dogs.