The People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals (PDSA) awarded Police Dog Max a commendation for bravery and devotion at the Gloucestershire Constabulary and Police and Crime Commissioner Awards Ceremony in September.
German Shepherd Police Dog Max made front page news on The Citizen as well as a BBC Points West television story in March 2015 following his fantastic work over three days when he tracked down four suspected criminals and saved a woman’s life.
On the evening of Sunday 8 March 2015, he was sent with his handler PC Janson Wong to find a missing woman who suffered from seizures. The location was rural, surrounded by farmland and wooded areas near to the M50 motorway. Weather conditions were atrocious with plummeting temperatures. A huge search involving police, ambulance, neighbouring police forces and the police helicopter began. Max and his handler were part of the search team. The woman had been missing for over two hours but within 35 minutes of starting the track Max indicated he’d scented something and pulled Janson towards a figure lying on the ground. It was the missing woman, barely conscious, fitting and suffering from hypothermia. Janson gave First Aid, comforting the woman and guiding paramedics to the scene. The woman was then transported safely to Gloucestershire Royal Hospital.
Janson said “Without Max tracking the female, we would have struggled to find her. Max certainly saved her life!” Dog Section Sergeant Geoff Blindell said: “Tracking that lady at that time of night, in those conditions and nearly two and a half hours after she had gone missing is really quite incredible.” Janson said seven year old Max is the perfect partner and added: “He loves his job - it’s what he was born to do - and he is never happier than when he is out at work with his Dad.”
The PDSA’s Director General, Jan McLoughlin, presented the award to PC Wong and PD Max with Suzette Davenport, Chief Constable for Gloucestershire present.
NOTES ON PDSA AND THE COMMENDATION
The PDSA was founded in 1917 by animal welfare pioneer, Maria Dickin CBE, who was determined to raise both the status of animals in society and the standard of their care as the UK’s leading veterinary charity. Today, it operates through a UK-wide network of 51 pet hospitals and 380 pet practices (contracted private practices), PDSA provides free veterinary care to the sick and injured pets of people in need and promotes responsible pet ownership. Through its work, PDSA touches the lives of more pets and their owners than any other animal charity in the UK today. The charity runs the world’s
most distinguished and respected Animal Awards Programme. Through these, it recognises acts of extraordinary animal bravery or exceptional
devotion to duty by awarding three globally recognised medals and a Commendation.
The PDSA Commendation was instituted in 2001 to recognise acts of animal devotion or bravery. Recipients include pets that have provided great help and companionship, supported their owners through difficult periods, raised the alarm in times of need, or simply made life better through their love and loyalty. Since the award was instituted, 67 dogs, seven cats and three horses have been awarded the PDSA Commendation.