Paw-some South Yorkshire Police dog retires

A paw-some police dog is retiring after nearly a decade of catching criminals in South Yorkshire.

By Lee Peace
Thursday, 11 July, 2019, 11:19

PD Digby, who has helped officers take a bite out of crime over the last seven years and is a firm favourite with the force’s Facebook followers, is putting his paws up for good.

PD Digby.

PC Brian Grange became Digby’s handler back in 2012, after a tragic incident in which his previous police dog, a German Shepherd called Bear, was run over and killed whilst on duty.

He said: “That was an upsetting time, as Bear was still quite young and he’d been doing really well. He had the makings of a great police dog, so it was awful to lose him in this way.”

After a period to get over this loss, PC Grange went to the kennels to select a new dog to work alongside, where he met Digby.

PD Digby.

Digby was snarling and curling his lip straight away, despite being very young, and the match was made. 

They hadn’t been paired up long when they were sent to provide mutual aid for another police force at a football match.

PD Digby and PC Grange were stood with colleagues in a line separating rival fans prior to the match and there was a lull in activity.

Unseen by PC Grange due to his helmet being on, another officer approached from behind and went to tap him on the shoulder.

Digby did see him though, leapt to defend PC Grange, and knocked the officer to the ground.

It turned out to be a superintendent who had only wanted to have a chat. 

PC Grange said: “He’s been like that ever since and he always looks after me, no matter what.

“In the thick of things, other police dogs might have run away because it’s got too intense. Not Digby – he never backs down.”

And PD Digby is going out on a high. 

PC Grange added: “He had a really impressive run earlier this year where he apprehended six prisoners in four days, he was on a roll! It’s like he knew his retirement was coming up and wanted to go out with a bang.

“I’ll miss working with him definitely, but he’s getting old now and this type of work takes its toll.

“I hope he’ll enjoy his time off at home, while Reggie goes to work catching the bad guys.”