A new scheme is underway to ensure Leicestershire’s police dogs are properly cared for and receive the highest standards of welfare while serving on behalf of the force.
Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland Police and Crime Commissioner Rupert Matthews unveiled the new Animal Welfare Scheme (AWS) this week and welcomed the first of a new cohort of independent visitors whose job it will be to make regular inspections of the force’s dog training facilities and accommodation.
The visitors, all members of the public who have volunteered to dedicate time their time to the scheme, have recently embarked on training and undertook their first official inspection of the facilities accompanied by Mr Matthews.
They were impressed with the variety of enrichment activities on offer for Leicestershire’s canine cops which include a sandpit, pool and open space to explore.
The launch of the AWS is one of a series of achievements for Mr Matthews in his year of office.
As part of their new AWS role, the visitors will also be observing dog training in progression and will provide feedback on all visits to Mr Matthews via an electronic visit report form.
Mr Matthews said: “Our police dogs play a vital role in keeping our streets safe and are well- loved and valued members of the team.
“I am delighted to launch this new scheme which will provide further reassurance and confidence to the public that the care and welfare of our police dogs is a top priority. I am very grateful to our volunteers who have offered their time to increase the accountability and transparency of their care and look forward to reviewing their reports.”
One of the Animal Welfare Scheme Visitors is Rosemary Hall, an experienced dog owner who is interested in the care and training of dogs.
She said: “I decided to take part in the Scheme as I have had rescue dogs for the last 20 years and also have been a volunteer walker at rescue kennels. The training session was very informative and I was impressed by the facilities. In fact I think my dog would enjoy a day there!
“It was interesting to hear about the different work done by the dogs and the methods of training which have changed over recent years.”
Sgt Jules Lowe from the dog section said: “I am delighted that our Animal Welfare Scheme has now been launched. I would like to thank the OPCC for their help and support along with the Dogs Trust who promote this scheme across the country. I’m grateful to the volunteers who are prepared to give up their time to visit our kennels and of course a massive thank-you to my kennel team who have all worked extremely hard to maintain high standards of care of our service dogs.
“We are committed to providing the best care possible and recent investment in the kennels has provided fantastic enrichment areas for our dogs.
“The Animal Welfare Scheme is really important to us and will ensure that our processes are scrutinised to ensure our high standards are maintained.”Source: