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Hero sniffer dog dies

A HEROIC POLICE SNIFFER DOG who helped put scores of offenders behind bars has died amid fears he is Britain's first known victim of canine cocaine induced cancer.

Springer spaniel Max who suffered from crippling arthritis died of rare nasal cancer professionals have speculated could have been caused by his career as a drug sniffer dog.

The nine-year-old wheeled into the headlines last November when he was given a new lease of life on a set of gladiator chariot style wheels to get around.

It was thought that his running days were over when he started to suffer with a hip complaint and after seven years of service he was forced to retire from the Avon and Somerset Police.
But the custom made set of wheels changed everything for the Springer spaniel and after they were fitted he was soon chasing balls and running through the park like any other dog. It seemed that Max had taken everything thrown at him and won but shortly after his new-found-fame he was diagnosed with nasal cancer.

His owners were forced to have him put to sleep just three months before his tenth birthday.
Inspector Anne Higgins from Tiverton police station looked after Max and was heartbroken when she took him to the vets to be put to sleep. She said: "It is ironic that the wonderful organ that made him successful in his work has been his demise. It may or may not have been connected to what he used to do.

Vets said Max had an undifferentiated sarcoma, which is a type of cancer that commonly affects the nose.

Kate Fairclough, who was Max's vet since 2006, said: "Sniffing drugs could well have been a factor - I certainly cannot rule it out. Nose cancer in dogs is not all that common only about one to two percent of all cancers in dogs affect the nose. It is difficult to know what caused it as there are so many different factors involved but environmental factors can play a part.

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