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Saxon on new police assessment

THE ONGOING saga of Saxon, the Gwent police dog under threat of destruction for his alleged ‘instability’ took a new twist last week, when it was announced that the dog had been sent for a lengthy period of re-assessment.

As previously reported, campaigners fighting to save Saxon’s life on behalf of his handler PC Mike Townley had recruited Dr Roger Mugford. PC Townley has been on sick leave for some weeks due to the stress of the situation, whilst Saxon remained in police kennels, where he has been held for close on four months.

Initially when Dr Mugford contacted Gwent Police Authority he was told that there was no one available to speak to him. Dr Mugford persisted, spoke to a senior officer and has offered his services to ‘re-train’ Saxon. However, Dr Mugford was informed that his services were not required, as the police authority had already instigated a re-assessment for Saxon with a civilian expert of their choice.

Gwent Police issued a new statement on Saxon’s fate on their website on Friday, September 1st, which reads as follows:

‘The police dog, Saxon, has received formal assessments from another police force and an independent assessor. The dog was assessed as not being fit for policing purposes. In addition to this, other public bodies have declined to accept the dog, again, due to suitability issues.

‘Following consultation with members of Gwent Police Authority’s Animal welfare committee it has been decided that a further, lengthier, assessment should be carried out to better inform our decision on Saxon’s future.

‘The assessment, which will commence today, will be carried out by a well-respected expert in the field of working dogs, and will last for up to four weeks.’

Meanwhile, campaigners are continuing to put pressure on Gwent police authority to ensure that Saxon’s life is spared. Data relating to Saxon’s case has been sought under the Freedom of Information Act, whilst a letter has also been sent to Home Secretary John Reid, asking him to intervene in the case.

The battle to save Saxon is not yet over…

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

The Save Our Saxon campaign can be found at: