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Another assessment for Saxon

THE BATTLE to save the life of Saxon, the Gwent police dog under threat of destruction for his alleged ‘instability’ continues, with a top animal behaviourist offering his services to re-train the dog.

Campaigners fighting to save Saxon’s life on behalf of his handler PC Mike Townley have recruited Dr Roger Mugford. As previously reported, PC Townley has been on sick leave for some weeks due to the stress of the situation, whilst Saxon remains in police kennels.

Initially when Dr Mugford contacted Gwent Police Authority there was no one available to speak to him. However, Dr Mugford persisted and it is understood that he has since managed to speak to a senior officer and has offered his services to ‘re-train’ Saxon.

PC Townley’s wife, Caroline told OUR DOGS: ‘Roger Mugford has spoken to Gwent police authority and suggested that he attempt to retrain Saxon to perform correctly on the one exercise that he fails on, namely the ‘stand off’. He has suggested various ways of re educating him and of all the methods he has suggested have already been tried by Mike and failed. However we are optimistic - it’s worth a try.

‘We are told that Gwent 'warmed ' to the idea, but as to what arrangements have been made for Saxon’s re-assessment, I am unaware’.

A member of the British Institute of Professional Dog Trainers also gave Saxon a further independent re-assessment on Friday, August 19th, although the results of this assessment have not been published.

Meanwhile, the most recent statement put out by Gwent police authority, dated August 17th reads:

‘The police dog Saxon, has now been assessed on a number of occasions in order to allow the Force to make the right decision about its future…

‘A significant amount of interest has been shown in Saxon's future and Gwent Police recognises that for some people, this is an emotive issue. We have therefore decided to obtain a third party opinion from an organisation, which is completely independent of the police service. It has been agreed that an accredited member of the Institute of Professional Dog Trainers will undertake this assessment and arrangements have been made for it to take place on Friday of this week.

‘Once this assessment has been completed, the findings will be considered along with those, which have already been undertaken and a decision will be taken about the dog’s future. Gwent Police has commissioned this additional independent assessment to ensure that we make the right decision, which carefully balances the welfare of the animal against our responsibility to ensure that the public are not put at risk….’

The battle to save Saxon’s life continues…

To register your views on the fate of Saxon and the handling of this situation, please e-mail Gwent Police Authority at: