Police dog Axel has been treated to a bone and a belly rub after another excellent shift at Northumbria Police on Monday evening.
The 15-month-old Belgian Malinois only fully qualified as a K9 at the Force’s Dog Section at the end of May but he is already had a busy first month on duty.
And yesterday he impressed again after he and handler PC Robert Burn responded to intruders at Newcastle’s General Hospital at 11.30pm.
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The crime-fighting team scoured the building before confronting a suspected thief as he tried to leave through a side door. He was detained and arrested.
But within an hour the pair were back out on duty after responding to report that a patient had fled from a hospital in Northumberland.
They carried out a search of nearby woodland before Axel found the vulnerable man sleeping under a tree just before 4am. He was taken back to hospital but was fit and well.
Today the rookie police dog is enjoying a well-deserved rest and a top cop at Northumbria Police says Axel’s busy night shows the importance of their canine colleagues.
Chief Inspector Mick Hall said: “Our police dogs are a fantastic asset to the force and these results are a testament to the hard work and dedication of our handlers.
“PC Burn and Axel are a fantastic team and their shift on Monday night shows the diversity of the different incidents they are required to respond to.
“Our rookie pups are certainly making an impression and Axel’s performance comes just a couple of weeks after his brother Alfie had a fantastic arrest of a burglary suspect.
“Not only do they help us detain criminals but they also help us save lives – who knows how long it would have taken to find the missing hospital patient if it weren’t for Axel’s nose.
“We will continue to work hard to keep our communities safe and we hope the hard work of Axel and his canine colleagues reassure you that you’re in safe paws.”
The 28-year-old man arrested at the General Hospital remains in custody at this time.