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Cumbria Police Dog Unit says bye to retiring dogs and welcomes new recruits

Ava, Dash and Xander

The Cumbria Police Dog Unit over the last few months has seen some of its team retiring, with three general purpose dogs ‘putting their paws up’ making way for three new recruits joining the team.

Over the last few months the dogs unit have said bye to Ava, Xander and Dash – all general purpose police dogs.

Inspector Kim Brennand said: “Ava, Xander and Dash have had a collective of 19 years of service within the Cumbria Police Dogs Unit and have been a great asset for the force. These dogs have assisted in many incidents such as locating vulnerable people and protecting the public as well as their handlers.”

PC Diane Irving’s seven-year-old general purpose dog Ava retried in February of this year and will be staying with her handler after her retirement.

PC Irving and Ava

Speaking on Ava’s retirement, PC Irving recalled being in attendance at a football match between Carlisle United and Blackpool where Ava helped to control the crowds and protect the public and officers.

Ava will be replaced by new recruit Red who will be joining PC Irving as a general purpose dog along with PD Frank.

PC James Akam’s five-year-old general purpose dog Xander also retired in February of this year and will be staying with his handler during his retirement.

PC Akam, recalls a particularly memorable moment working with Xander. He said: “We were deployed to the scene of a road traffic collision in which a drink driver had gone onto the wrong side of the road, hitting another car.

“The driver ran off into the middle of nowhere, Xander was able to track and locate the man. When I arrived the man started to get aggressive towards me and Xander helped to protect me and get the man detained.”

Xander will be replaced by new recruit Fenrir or ‘Fen’ will be joining PC Akam along with PD Bob. Fen is a general purpose dog

PC Mann and Dash

PC Jonathan Mann’s eight year old general purpose dog Dash will retire in April and will be spending his retirement with another officer.

Dash is the father of the three new pups joining the police Dog Unit.

PC Mann recalls how Dash once helped police find a man after a serious attack. He said: “The most impactive job for me was a man had been stabbed in West Cumbria. Dash was deployed and searched and located the offender that was hiding down a bank. The man was arrested and charged and found guilty of murder.

“During a community visit at a school a year later, Dash met the children of the victim. It was an emotional meeting and highly impactive on the children.

“This really highlighted the great work that these dogs do”

Dash will be replaced by new recruit PD Skye who will be joining PC Mann as a general purpose dog along with PD Drake.

Over the next few months Cumbria Police will see new recruits Red, Fenrir and Skye join the Cumbria Police Dog’s Unit. The new recruits were born October 1st 2017 and were fathered by retiring general purpose dog Dash.

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