An unwanted Staffordshire bull terrier who was saved by the RSPCA after her previous owner could no longer care for her has become the first ever rescue Staffie to qualify as a police explosives search dog.
Roxy arrived at RSPCA West Hatch in Somerset after being brought to the centre by one of the animal welfare charity’s inspectors. But she quickly showed off an impressive talent for tracking down hidden tennis balls as she began her unexpected journey from kennels to crime fighting.
The super sniffer’s skills were first spotted by RSPCA West Hatch kennel supervisor Sue Dicks who contacted police dog trainer PC Lee Webb (pictured with Roxy), who has worked alongside the charity to help 14 rescue dogs overcome abuse, neglect and abandonment to become police dogs in the past five years.
Roxy, who will be searching for explosives for Wiltshire Police after qualifying on 28 June, is the latest in a number of RSPCA rescue Staffie success stories which first began with a dog called Kos who was rehomed to Lee at Avon and Somerset Police in 2012.
Dog trainer Ian Partington said: “Here at Tri-Force Specialist Operations Dog Unit, which covers Wiltshire, Avon and Somerset and Gloucestershire, it is really important to us that we have the best dogs doing the job – this is irrespective of their breed or background.
“Police dog Roxy is a rescue dog who was taken in by RSPCA at West Hatch and she showed some great skills that we knew would make her a brilliant police explosives dog. She really shone during her initial training course and has now successfully gained her licence. We are all thrilled to have another rescue dog on board – these dogs may not have had the easiest start in life but they are amazing crime-fighting dogs and Roxy will no doubt have a great career ahead of her.”
Anita Clark from RSPCA West Hatch said: “We’re so proud of Roxy and all the dogs who have gone on to qualify as police dogs.
“We would like to thank PC Lee Webb for his absolute dedication to using rescue dogs, and for the amazing work he has done in changing the way people view Staffies.
“Many Staffies are beautiful dogs that often get an unjustified bad reputation. We want to change that and show the world just how wonderful they can be.”
To help the RSPCA continue rescuing, rehabilitating and rehoming animals in desperate need of care please visit: www.rspca.org.uk/give or text LOVE to 87023 to give £3 (Text costs £3 + one standard network rate message).