A memorial has been unveiled to all of Lancashire’s police dogs.
Those who sniff out criminals are remembered in a headstone at the Lancashire Police HQ at Hutton near Penwortham.
It has been funded by the Retired Police Dogs Benevolent Fund which was established in 2004.
Dog Trainer Sergeant Neil Fitzgerald said: “Police dogs are an integral part of operational policing within Lancashire and provide an invaluable service to our county; therefore it is right that they should be recognised by way of this memorial.
“The names of those police dogs which have passed away will be added to the memorial so that the people who knew and loved them can visit and pay their respects. We are very grateful to the Benevolent Fund for making this happen.
“When a police dog retires from active service, they often retire to their handler who then has to take over the financial responsibility of caring for them. In some cases, dogs are retired at a young age due to illness or injury and veterinary and medication bills can be incredibly expensive.
“Historically, some dogs have had to be re-homed when their owners couldn’t afford the bills, so the Benevolent Fund was created to assist handlers and adoptees, where necessary, so that the dog can stay with the family it loves and trusts.”
Sheila Maw, chair of the Retired Police Dogs Benevolent Fund, said: “We are incredibly pleased to have been able to make this memorial happen. We are also willing to assist any other county interested in setting up a similar scheme for these worthy ‘non-pensioned officers’ with four legs. Anyone interested in our work is welcome to contact any of our members – and we are always looking for volunteers. We survive solely on donations, legacies and fundraising events.”