|Funds needed for police dogs memorial
A plan to erect a national memorial for Police dogs needs to raise money so that it can be built.
The Kennel Club has donated £1,000 to the fund that needs to raise £60,000. So far they have raised £12,000 but they are asking for people to donate so that they can reach their target.
Police officer, Paul Nicholls, is the man behind the campaign to create a memorial to our brave Police dogs.
He told OUR DOGS, 'I joined Essex Police in 1987 and became a dog handler in 2000. It was a childhood dream of mine to be a police dog handler.
'In 2006 I lost my first dog Sabre. He came from a traveller camp and we got him from a rescue centre. As such he was never going to be the best Police dog but he did the job.
'When he died my world fell apart. There is a special bond between a police dog handler and their first dog.
'I wanted to think of a way whereby we could remember what he did. There is a plaque to Police dogs sited within the Police Memorial Garden at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire. I thought they deserved more than that. In America Police dogs are treated like Gods.
'We approached the Arboretum to see if they would site a memorial statue but they did not get planning permission.
'Oaklands Park, Chelmsford welcomed us with open arms and we have planning permission. John Doubleday, a sculptor who has produced sculptures of the Queen and Nelson Mandela, has been commissioned to produce the sculpture.'
The plan is also for dogs to be recognised when they have retired and records to be kept.
'We need to make sure these dogs are never forgotten,' said Paul.