South Yorkshire Police has welcomed nine new recruits – of the furry, four-legged type.
The new arrivals come courtesy of Fizz, a two-and-a-half year old German shepherd, who delivered a litter of nine new pups – five boys and four girls – into the long arm of the law.
Their dad, Usha, also a German shepherd, is a serving police dog in the West Midlands.
Harry Morton, who manages South Yorkshire Police’s dog training school, on Niagara Road, Wadsley Bridge, Sheffield, said the pups were ‘doing well’.
The male pups have now been named Leo, Loxley, Lenny and Logan, with the girls called Lima, Lexi, Lola and Layla.
South Yorkshire Police said the ninth pup was off to work with another force, who would name him.
Mr Morton said: “They were born on March 29, just in time for Mother’s Day.”
Harry said Fizz was the force’s third breed bitch, chosen from her litter due to her lovely nature, working attributes and being a ‘fantastic example of the breed’.
The pups will go to their new homes with volunteer ‘puppy walkers’ – who act as foster carers until the dogs are aged 12 and 18 months, when they will return to the centre to continue their police training.
Harry said: “The aim is for the South Yorkshire Police dogs to have been socialised with people, buildings, places, and different things.
“We also have ‘puppy Sunday’ when the walkers come in and do little bits of training. The dogs are not taught how to bite. They are being looked after by volunteers, and we don’t teach that.”
The training centre is one of only six in the country approved by the Association of Chief Police Officers.
The dogs born and trained in South Yorkshire are sent far and wide to various police forces and other services, such as the Ministry of Defence and the prison service.
The public can see trained police dogs in action at the 54th national police dog assessments at Wentworth Woodhouse, from May 15 to 17.
Mr Morton said: You will be able to see these trained police dogs from across the UK as part of safe and sufficient police teams.”
The free event runs from 10am to 3pm daily.
n Volunteers are needed to become puppy walkers for South Yorkshire Police. For details, call 0114 2964941.