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Essex: Sad death of police dog Gunner

PUBLISHED: 12:38 26 January 2014 | UPDATED: 12:39 26 January 2014

Lance Bombardier William Saunders volunteers to be attacked by the Essex Police Dog Unit dogs Gunner and Dino during a demonstration for the 7th Parachute Regiment Royal Horse Artillery at Melville Barracks in Colchester. Gunner collapsed and died at the weekend.

Lance Bombardier William Saunders volunteers to be attacked by the Essex Police Dog Unit dogs Gunner and Dino during a demonstration for the 7th Parachute Regiment Royal Horse Artillery at Melville Barracks in Colchester. Gunner collapsed and died at the weekend.

A police dog has died suddenly while taking part in a routine exercise session, it was revealed today.

Essex Police dog Gunner, a five-year-old German Shepherd, collapsed while undertaking exercise at the start of his evening duty shift at Stanway yesterday evening.

The dog was carrying out basic fetch and return exercises and was carrying a ball back to his handler when he collapsed.

He was immediately taken to a vet in Colchester for treatment, but was subsequently confirmed to have died.

Chief Inspector Tom Simons, of Essex Police, said: “This is a very sad occasion.

“The bond between our handlers and their dogs is very strong and the officer involved is very upset at the loss.

“While they are working dogs, these animals also become a close and important member of each police officer’s family.

“All the initial indications are that Gunner died of natural causes but a review into the circumstances of his death will be carried out.”

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Oliver Sheppard, 28, of Park Road in Clacton, was sentenced at Chelmsford Crown Court on January 16 after pleading guilty there on January 8.

One man was taken to hospital as a precautionary measure.

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The winner of the East Anglian Daily Times and Ipswich Star’s Christmas Claws competition has been announced. .

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