Hundreds of tributes have been paid to Police Dog Nala who died after retiring in May this year.
Well wishers have been messaging @northantsdogs on Twitter after the news was revealed on Wednesday.
And Northamptonshire Police said the following statement on their website:
After working side by side with her handler PC Sean Foster for the past seven years, Nala stepped down from service in May, spending her retirement with Sean, his wife and their two young children.
Nala was born on April 15, 2012, as part of a West Midlands Police dog breeding programme, formally joining Northamptonshire Police as a general-purpose police dog after successfully completing her initial course licensing alongside PC Foster in February 2014.
During her years of service, Nala was fundamental in achieving countless successful results and played a huge part in protecting the people of Northamptonshire.
Most recently, through the use of her highly trained senses, Nala was involved in the successful resolution of an incident of aggravated burglary, whereby after diligently searching the area for two hours and recovering multiple weapons and stolen items, she kept her nose to the ground and successfully located the offender, despite the nearby woodland and gardens having been cleared by officers.
Before her formal retirement ceremony, Northamptonshire Police held a celebration of her career, which was attended by both four and two-legged colleagues of the Dog Section, who Nala had worked alongside throughout her career.
In recent weeks, Nala was also rightly recognised by the Thin Blue Paw Foundation with the Lifetime Achievement Award for her outstanding track record whilst working for Northamptonshire Police – she was the first police dog to receive this award.
On her passing, Sergeant Chris Monday, of the Northamptonshire Police Dog Section, said: “PD Nala was an incredible police dog who over her seven-year career has caught hundreds of criminals and saved many lives. She has been a loyal friend and crewmate to her handler Sean who first trained Nala when she was just over a year old.
“I was so pleased when Nala recently received the Thin Blue Paw’s Lifetime Achievement Award, it was richly deserved. I am also grateful that she was strong enough to see the award ceremony before she passed away.
“Our thoughts go out to Sean and his family who have all cared for Nala over the years and provided her with a wonderful home and life. Nala’s contribution to Northamptonshire will never be forgotten.”
Chief Constable Nick Adderley added: “Nala’s work within the Force’s Dog Section had a huge impact on ensuring the safety and successful pursuit of justice for many members of our community – most of whom may not have been aware of her involvement.
“The relationship built between police dog and handler, both personal and professional, is an extraordinarily close one. Throughout their working careers, they will tackle danger head-on together. They will work to safeguard vulnerable members of the community together. They will use their unique crimefighting capabilities to make an impact on policing the community around them – together.
“The loss of Nala to the section – and her handler, PC Sean Foster – will be immeasurable, however I am confident her memory will continue to live on and be upheld by the section’s ongoing work to fight crime and protect the people of Northamptonshire.”