START A PETITION 25,136,189 members: the world's largest community for good
START A PETITION
x
Aug 11, 2006
Family fight to keep police dog


Saxon with handler, Mike Townley
Saxon saved Mr Townley's life many times, say the family
A police dog who saved his handler from an axe-wielding attacker has been put on death row at the end of his service, according to the handler's family.
Saxon, a five-year-old German Shepherd, protected Mike Townley, 47, many times during his time with Gwent Police.

His wife, Caroline, say his licence has been withdrawn as he is now considered "unsafe" and could be put down.

She wants to keep Saxon as a pet. Gwent Police said Saxon's future was under consideration.

As a serving police officer, Mr Townley, a Home Office dog instructor, was unable to comment on Gwent Police's decision to retire Saxon from active service.

Two youths came out and wanted to beat my husband up - the dog stood in front of them and wouldn't let them near him
Caroline Townley

However, he has applied to keep Saxon as a pet and a campaign to see the dog released from the police kennels at Usk, Monmouthshire, has been launched by his wife, Caroline.

Mrs Townley said the family owed a debt of gratitude to Saxon, for saving her husband's life on more than one occasion, as well as "feeling hundreds of collars".

She said her husband was told last week that Saxon, who has represented the Gwent force at regional police dog trials, was to be put down and that decision had been confirmed.

Saxon
Saxon has been at police dog kennels for the past three months

She said: " This dog would have laid his life down for my husband. Mike was confronted by a man with an axe, who would have killed Saxon.

"Another time Mike was searching a scrap yard for some people when he fell and broke his ankle. Two youths came out and wanted to beat my husband up.

"The dog stood in front of them and wouldn't let them near him. He gave himself 100%."

She said the force helicopter once filmed Saxon chasing and rounding up four suspects who were on foot.

Mrs Townley said her husband has been told Saxon is unsafe because he bit Mr Townley twice in the first year they worked together.

'Destroyed'

But she said: "He says it was completely his own fault. The dog was being defensive. Mike said Saxon has not bitten anyone unless he has told him to."

Saxon and Mr Townley had worked together since April 2003. Mrs Townley said her husband was "distraught and extremely upset" at the force's conclusions.

Gwent Police said a dog's destruction was only considered if a force believes the dog in question cannot be re-homed, re-deployed or retrained successfully and therefore presents an unacceptable safety risk to the public.

The statement read: "In the past three years, 11 general purpose patrol dogs have been retired from the Gwent Police Dog Section.

"Of these six either went to live with their ex-handler or were otherwise re-homed. Five were put down humanely to prevent suffering as a result of old age, injury or underlying medical conditions, after consultation with a vet.

"During the same period there has only been one case of a dog being refused a license on grounds of safety.

"The dog concerned made an unprovoked attack on a kennel handler and after careful consideration it was decided that the dog should be humanely put down."

Visibility: Everyone
Tags: , , , ,
Posted: Aug 11, 2006 2:51pm
Aug 11, 2006
Police dog rejected for jail duty
Last Updated: Wednesday, 9 August 2006, 11:11 GMT 12:11 UK  

 
Saxon with handler, Mike Townley
Saxon has worked with Mike Townley since April 2003
The future of a police dog whose licence was withdrawn because he was "unsafe" remains uncertain after he was rejected as a prison guard dog.
Gwent Police withdrew the licence for Saxon, a five-year-old German Shepherd earlier this year.

He was assessed by HM Prison Service this week but was found "not suitable as a potential prison patrol dog".

His ex-handler fears he will be put down but Gwent Police said Saxon's future remains under consideration.

Saxon's former handler, Mike Townley, worked with dog between 2003 and 2006 when Saxon's licence was withdrawn after Saxon bit a kennel worker.

In July, a Gwent Police spokesman said: "The dog concerned made an unprovoked attack on a kennel handler and after careful consideration it was decided that the dog should be humanely put down."

Saxon
Saxon was rejected as being unsuitable to work in prisons

He added that a dog's destruction was only considered if a force believes the dog in question cannot be re-homed, re-deployed or retrained successfully and therefore presents an unacceptable safety risk to the public.

Mr Townley's wife, Caroline, has said she owed Saxon a debt of gratitude for saving her husband's life when in the line of duty he was confronted by a man wielding an axe.

After an appeal by the family, Gwent Police offered the dog to the prison service.

But a spokesman for HM Prison Service found Saxon was "not suitable as a potential prison patrol dog".

Mrs Townley has not commented on the decision.

A spokesman for the Gwent force said: "Gwent Police will now review the situation and explore other options for Saxon's future.

"He is currently being cared for at police kennels alongside other police dogs receiving the same high standards of care and exercise."

Visibility: Everyone
Tags: , , , ,
Posted: Aug 11, 2006 2:48pm

 

 
 
Content and comments expressed here are the opinions of Care2 users and not necessarily that of Care2.com or its affiliates.

Author

Melanie B.
, 3
Pittsburgh, PA, USA
Shares by Type:
All (56) | Blog (38) | Alert (6) | Message (12)

Showing shares tagged with: police [show all]
SHARES FROM MELANIE'S NETWORK
Jan
28
(2 comments  |  discussions )
\\r\\n   & nbsp;   &n bsp;  Leonard Peltier ( LPDOC ) :\\r\\n        & nbsp;    Remembering Pete Seeger\\r\\n\\r\\n & nbsp;   &n bsp;   &nb sp;&nb...
Jan
21
(0 comments  |  discussions )
\\r\\n   & nbsp;  Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. - Honored & Remembered\\r\\n\\r\\n&nb sp;    i\\\'m sharing this link to quotes and images of MLK\\r\\n  &nbs p;   to inspire \\r\\n\\r\\n  & nbsp; &n...
(0 comments  |  discussions )
\\nSave Patagonia (Spanish language)\\n\\n \\n\\n\\n
Jan
19
(0 comments  |  discussions )
\\n\\n \\\"Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.\\\"  (Matthew 5:5)Who are the meek?  I guess it depends who you ask, but I think the meaning implied in the passage above has somehow been lost over the years.  Perhaps t...
Jan
16
(0 comments  |  discussions )
\\nTell EPA to Ban Large-Scale Mining in the Bristol Bay Watershed!\\n\\n \\n\\n\\n
Jan
14
(0 comments  |  discussions )
\\nSave Patagonia\\n\\n \\n\\n\\n
Jan
12
(0 comments  |  discussions )
  It is said that the eyes are the windows to the soul.  There is much to be said about this.  You can see emotion through the eyes, can you not?  You can often tell if a person is lying or not by looking into their eyes.  Wha...
Jan
11
(0 comments  |  discussions )
When we are born, we are aware of our spiritual self.  Actually, this is the part of ourselves with which we are most aware!  The body is new.  Wow!  Look at those fingers and toes!  As to the mental aspect of self, we were ha...
Jan
5
(0 comments  |  discussions )
\\nI no longer choose to trust the medical system with caring for my health in any significant way.  If I need stitches or an emergency accident occurs.  But for my ongoing health care, no thank you.  I do not believe in their ways.\\nI o...
Dec
31
(0 comments  |  0 discussions )
\\nThe turning of the calendar year \\nbrings hope of new things, but the truth is that new things occur every \\nmoment in time.  And just as we have the tradition of making resolutions\\n on New Year\\\'s Day, we can also resolve to change how we exp...