BBC Points West presenter Alex Lovell (right) was one of the WAGS charity fundraisers (photo courtesy of @ASPoliceDrones)
Deputy Chief Constable Nikki Watson and BBC Points West presenter Alex Lovell were among 25 people taking part in a challenging charity abseil at the weekend, to give back to retired police dogs who have spent their life in public service.
The brave supporters abseiled from the 200ft high mast at Avon and Somerset Police’s headquarters, off Valley Road in Portishead, on Saturday (20 August) in a bid to raise thousands of pounds for WAGS Retired Police Dog Charity.
The event was the brainchild of WAGS ambassador Alex and was organised by Dog Unit Sergeant Nick Dalrymple and Operational Trainer Clive Bush, with support from Andrew Jamieson-Jerreat, a former Avon and Somerset Police dog handler who now works in force communications, who founded and chairs the WAGS charity.
Alongside the intrepid humans taking on the challenge was Nick’s explosives search police dog (PD) Fred, a springer spaniel, who demonstrated one of his officially trained canine police skills. PD Fred is a seasoned fundraiser for WAGS having previously completed his own 3 Peaks challenge.
Together, those involved have raised over £11,000 in sponsorship for the independent charity, which was set up to help the retired police dogs from Wiltshire, Avon and Somerset and Gloucestershire Police as they reach their well-deserved golden years.
Police dogs spend their working lives detecting crimes and helping with searches, often for the most vulnerable people in our society. They can be involved in dangerous situations and can sometimes be injured while protecting the public and police officers or detaining offenders.
Police dogs commonly are not eligible for pet insurance due to the hard work they have done and knocks they have taken to keep the public safe. So, when retired dogs have required surgery for medical emergencies or treatment of cancer, WAGS has stepped in to provide the life-saving procedures.
Sgt Nick Dalrymple said: “This amazing charity event will make such a difference to so many former police dogs. They put their lives and limbs on the line for us every day and this money will allow WAGS to continue to provide a much-needed support system for them, so they can fully enjoy their well-earned retirement.
“We are truly grateful to our charity abseilers and for the generosity of all who donated.”
If you would like to find out about how you can lend your support to WAGS, please visit www.wagsretiredpolicedogs.co.uk