- ‘Old police dog vans’ to get new homes
- Three local charities snap them up for £1 each
- Too good to scrap but not suitable for the open market
- £514.80 raised for retired police dogs charity
They have been used to carrying some of the county’s canine finest and today (Friday, Jan 27), three ‘retired’ police dog vans went to good homes.
The three specially adapted vehicles, which no longer meet the Constabulary’s requirements, were handed over to local animal charities for the nominal sum of £1 each.
Representatives from Gloucester-based Teckels, Cheltenham Animal Shelter and incident response team Serve On which has a dog section were given the keys by Police and Crime Commissioner Martin Surl and Gloucestershire’s Chief Constable Suzette Davenport.
Pete Newcombe, General Manager at Cheltenham Animal Shelter, said: “We are delighted to accept the offer of one of these specially adapted vehicles which will be invaluable to us in transporting dogs where necessary during our rehoming and animal welfare work.
“We are very grateful to Martin and the Police and Crime Commissioner’s Office for their generous gesture”.
Clare Campbell, Centre Manager at Teckels Animal Sanctuaries, Whitminster, said: “We are extremely thankful for this wonderful vehicle donated to Teckels Animal Sanctuaries, This new vehicle will be used to help us transport our cats and dogs to their veterinary appointments, home visits and eventually their new homes.
“I'm sure the K9 members of the police team will be proud knowing that their specially adapted and safe animal transport vehicles will be going to help animals less fortunate than them. Some of our previous residents have gone on to be police dogs and it’s wonderful to continue this great relationship between Teckels and our local police force”.
Andy Harris, Dog handler from Serve On Search and Rescue Charity, said: "The K9 Team are delighted to accept receipt of one of these specially adapted vehicles which will be invaluable to us in transporting our dogs wherever necessary; be it deploying to give assistance to Gloucestershire Police in locating missing vulnerable people or travelling to catch a flight so we can assist in locating the living trapped in collapsed building after a devastating earthquake.
“We are very grateful to Martin and the Police and Crime Commissioner’s Office for their generous donation".
All three vehicles are diesel fuelled Ford Focus Estates with manual gearboxes, registered on 11 December 2008 with mileage ranging from 92,595 to 104,203. The vehicles are fitted to carry dogs/large animals with cages in the back.
Police and Crime Commissioner Martin Surl, who brokered the deal, said: “The vans are changed regularly according to their age, mileage and reliability but because we have changed from Vauxhalls to Fords, the fittings are no longer transferable.
“And because they are not standard vehicles, it would be very difficult to sell them on the open market so it makes sense for them to go where they can still be put to good use”.
In a separate ceremony, a cheque for £514.80, which was raised at last year’s Open Day and Paws on Patrol events, was handed over to W.A.G.s, a non-profit trust which was set up to help retired police dogs from Wiltshire, Avon & Somerset and Gloucestershire.
Sgt Geoff Blindell, Tri-Force dog section said, “On behalf of WAGs, I would like to thank the public for their generous donations.
“Our dogs work very hard and give their all during their years of service. The money raised through WAGs will help pay for vets bills and treatment they might need in their retirement”.
For more WAGs information go to http://wagsretiredpolicedogs.weebly.com/