South Yorkshire Police’s top police dog suffers serious injury in the line of duty

South Yorkshire Police’s top police dog has suffered a serious injury in the line of duty.

Sunday, 4th July 2021, 9:15 am

The force’s police dog, Winston has had to have an operation after suffering a broken leg and is now thought to be on the road to recovered.

His injury comes just a few months after he was was named the force’s animal of the year in its Operational Support Awards in October.

Officers have not revealed the details of how his leg was broken, but issued pictures showing him after his operation and showing X-rays of his injury.

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Police dog Winston after his op
Police dog Winston after his op

But the force’s operational support team said on Facebook: “On Tuesday our PD Winston broke his leg at work, a complicated fracture which required surgery.

"Thanks to Nick, veterinary surgeon at Paragon Veterinary hospital, who's fantastic work has hopefully put Winston on the road to recovery.

“Get well soon Winston.”

Officers later added Winston had an undiagnosed condition that leaves the bones in his forelegs susceptible to fracture, and he was running across a field after a tennis ball when the fracture occurred.

Police dog Winston 's Xrayed leg

He is expected to make a good recovery, but will be assessed later to see if he can work again.

Springer Spaniel Winston was named South Yorkshire Police s animal of the year after a public vote.

He has helped track down a million pounds worth of drugs during his career since he became a drug, cash and firearms detection dog in 2014, and after a brief retirement returned to the force when officers became short of trained dogs.

At the time his handler PC Lee Schofield said: “Over the years Winston has clocked up numerous detections of weapons that have been used in serious offences as well a huge amount of drugs we have seized from organised crime.

Police dog Winston 's Xrayed leg

“Every day he comes to work with a smile on his face ready to search and find, work is one big game to him and he does it all for a ball.

“Some of his career highlights include recovering over £700,000 worth of cocaine in one find and several hundreds of thousands of pounds of cash including £150,000 that was hidden in a cellar and finding a firearms buried underground.

“In addition to this he has located shell casings and firearms for forensic opportunities in serious shootings and murder investigations.”

Police dog Winston with his award last year