Animal welfare visitors are members of the local community who visit, observe and report upon the conditions in which Merseyside Police dogs and horses are housed, trained and transported.

Animal Welfare schemes were established in response to the death of police dog ‘Acer’ whilst training in Essex in 1997 and the subsequent prosecution of police officers.

This understandably resulted in a loss of public confidence in police training methods. 

The Association of Chief Police Officers (now known as the National Police Chiefs' Council or NPCC) embarked upon a thorough review of police dog training and developed a strategy aimed at restoring public confidence by ensuring that police dog training methods are humane, ethical and transparent.

The Animal Welfare Visiting scheme was central to re-building public confidence and demonstrating transparency in the training and welfare of animals engaged in police work.

The Animal Welfare Visiting Scheme in Merseyside is run by the Police Commissioner and was established in consultation with Merseyside Police and the Dogs Trust.

Our team of volunteers make unannounced visits to where police animals are kept in Merseyside to ensure that they are being cared for appropriately.

Currently 10 volunteers are trained to check on the welfare of police animals on Merseyside.

More information

If you would like further information on the Animal Welfare scheme please

Contact us