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Saxon ‘rehomed’

A FORMER police dog taken out of service for allegedly being too aggressive has been found a new home, a police force revealed last week.

As reported previously, Saxon is a five-year-old German Shepherd who has been partnered with handler PC Mike Townley of Gwent police for the past three years and has proved exemplary in his duties. PC Townley has been a police officer for 18 years and has worked as a dog handler for nine years, being a Home Office approved police dog instructor.

Early last year, PC Townley was informed that Saxon was not to be re-licensed as police dog and senior officers were to make a decision as to his future. Saxon was shortly afterwards classified as a ‘dangerous’ dog and, as such, is unsuitable for re-homing and was due to be put to sleep. After that, Saxon was housed at the police kennels at Glascoed whilst PC Townley was assigned to other duties. A campaign to save Saxon’s life was launched by Mike Townley’s wife Caroline and was taken up by GSD breeder David Payne (Videx GDSs).

The official announcement that Saxon had been spared came in October after the conclusion that although Saxon was unsuitable as a police dog and as an ordinary family pet, he should continue to be a working dog, perhaps ideally employed as a guard dog.

Following the statement that Saxon would be relocated, Caroline Townley wrote to senior management at Gwent Police Authority to request that her husband be allowed to visit Saxon and say goodbye to him, before he embarked on his new career, but this request was refused.
Late last week it was revealed that Saxon has started a new role with a security firm in the West of England.

Gwent Police said Saxon's posting fulfils the criteria set out by ‘an independent assessor’ who was called in to help decide the dog's future. Superintendent Nigel Russell said: ‘We are pleased that Saxon has been re-homed to continue working and are confident that his new management will satisfy all the requirements of the assessment.’

Caroline Townley told OUR DOGS on Monday that her husband was aware that Saxon had been rehomed. However, as he was engaged in litigation with the Force, she declined to comment.