Warwickshire Police’s longest-serving police dog is retiring next week.
Jake, a 12-year-old springer spaniel, has been operational in the force for ten years helping to search for drugs, ammunition, firearms and bank notes.
Since beginning his career in 2004, Jake has had 521 successful finds, including an assault rifle, three handguns, one shotgun, 13 finds of ammunition, £650,000 in cash and an estimated £4.5 million worth of drugs.
Jake was initially based in Rugby but later went on to cover all areas of Warwickshire and West Mercia. He has also worked in ten other counties throughout the UK.
PC Andy Crouch, Jake’s handler, said: “I have a number of memorable moments whilst working with Jake over the years.
“I was searching a caravan when Jake began barking and jumping up towards a high kitchen cupboard. I lifted him up where he was able to pull a piece of wood trim away between the cabinet and the ceiling. I then saw a pistol pointing towards me in the gap Jake had made.
“Another time, I was speaking to a senior officer at a large dance festival at the entrance gate to the site. Suddenly, Jake pulled on his lead so hard I lost grip. He then jumped through the open window of a moving car and indicated by barking and scratching on the steering wheel, whilst sitting on the startled driver’s lap. Drugs were later found inside the steering wheel airbag compartment. Needless to say the visiting officer was very impressed!”
PC Crouch added: “For the past 18 months, Jake has been almost completely deaf. I’ve had to control him using only hand signals. Despite this, he’s still performed exceptionally well by helping us to catch criminals and protect people from harm.”
Jake’s last shift as a police dog will be through the night on Wednesday September 3. In his retirement, Jake will be living in a rural Leicestershire village with PC Crouch and his four other dogs, having a well-deserved rest.