Two Camborne police dogs with more than 18 years service between them will retire from the Force next month.
German shepherd ‘Asbo’ and sprocker spaniel ‘Springo’ have both enjoyed long careers under the watchful eye of police dog handler, PC Ian Tolchard, based at Camborne.
Asbo, a nine-year-old general purpose police dog, joined the Force in 2005 and has been highly successful in his role, finding missing people and locating criminals.
One highlight was locating a confused, elderly patient and who had absconded from the Royal Cornwall Hospital at Treliske. Without being found there are doubts the man would have survived the night.
Following a negative search by numerous units, including the police helicopter, Asbo located the man, who had got himself stuck in dense undergrowth and out of view on Truro golf course.
Spingo, a drugs search dog, began duties with PC Tolchard in 2003 after the officer adopted him from Plymouth’s Gables Farm cats and dogs home.
Now 11, Springo has carried out his duties as a drugs search dog and has excelled in his role, also being trained to search for firearms and cash.
PC Tolchard said: “His record of work is excellent; on one occasion he found a hidden assault rifle which had been used to threaten members of the public. On another successful job he managed to locate large sums of hidden cash which was being smuggled out of the country from local ports.
PC Tolchard added: “I have been very proud to have worked on the Dog Section for the past 13 years. In my opinion there can be no greater challenge than to be part of a successful police dog team and I have been very fortunate to have worked with some fantastic animals and colleagues.”
Both dogs are now going to receive a happy retirement living at home with PC Tolchard who will take ownership of them as his pets.
PC Tolchard remains a serving police officer and will move on from the dog section to a new posting at Hayle and St Ives.