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 19997 and the subsequent prosecution of police officers.
This understandably resulted in a loss of public confidence in police training methods. It also sparked adverse comment in the media and caused animal welfare organisations such as the RSPCA and Dogs Trust to stop donating dogs to the service.
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 Visting 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 been 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.
If you would like further information on the Animal Welfare scheme please Contact the Office of the Police Commissioner.
Support the dogs that fight crime
The Retired Police Dog Benevolent Fund for Merseyside provides much needed financial assistance for police dogs once they have retired from operational service with the Force.
There are currently more than 30 retired dogs that need funding support and since the fund was established more than £6,000 has been raised.
Find out how you can help police dogs get a well-earned, enjoyable retirement, by contacting Sgt John Meadows or Janine Ellett at the Force Dog Section on (0151) 777 8786.