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Another police force breeds its own dogs

LINCOLNSHIRE POLICE have bred their own working dogs for the first time in nearly three decades.

The force needs a steady stream of puppies to train but officials said finding the right dogs has got harder and more expensive in recent years. The Lincolnshire force is just the latest of several police forces across the UK opting to breed their own dogs, due to a lack of suitable candidates.
Several animal charities and rescue centres are reluctant to donate dogs – especially German Shepherds – to police in the wake of the ‘Acer’ scandal some years ago, when a police dog was throttled to death as a result of the orders of a dog trainer with the Essex police force, whilst the intentions of Gwent police to destroy Saxon, a perfectly healthy dog last year – resulting in a public outcry and a stay of execution – added to that reluctance.

Now, thanks to a new breeding programme at the Lincolnshire force, three litters of German Shepherd puppies have been born.

Sergeant Paul Cragg said it meant they could ensure the animals were trained correctly right from the start.

He said: ‘We can put into the dogs from a very young age exactly what we require because Lincolnshire Police need something different from their dogs than maybe the Metropolitan Police or (forces in) any major city environment.

‘We've got big vast open spaces and our dogs need to be able to work away from the handlers.’
The youngest of the 23 puppies are three weeks old and their fathers are all working police dogs. Lincolnshire Police currently uses around 30 dogs in active duty.