Couple run 4km a day fundraising for charity who paid for dog's life changing surgery

Pablo had to have life-changing surgery to remove a 4cm mass from his abdomen

Pablo had to have life-changing surgery to remove a 4cm mass from his abdomen - Credit: Carly and George Laflin

A Suffolk couple have been running 4km every day this month to help raise money for a charity that saved their dog's life - after it paid £4,000 for the dog to have life-changing surgery. 

Carly and George Laflin, from Bury St Edmunds, set themselves the challenge to raise vital funds for the Thin Blue Paw Foundation after the charity supported the couple's dog - a retired police sniffer dog, springer spaniel Pablo - when he needed the surgery to remove a tumour from his abdomen.

Police officer Carly said: “The charity covered the £4,000 bill after Pablo’s surgery and we wanted to do a fundraiser to thank them and help raise some funds in return.

Carly and George Laflin with their dog Pablo after he had life-changing surgery on his abdomen 

Carly and George Laflin with their dog Pablo after he had life-changing surgery on his abdomen - Credit: The Thin Blue Paw Foundation

"We decided to run 4k every day for a month, representing the £4k they covered in vet bills.  

“We’re so incredibly grateful to everyone at The Thin Blue Paw Foundation for supporting Pablo and helping us; without them, Pablo would have still had his surgery but we’d have been left struggling to cover the bill.


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"This is the least we can do to pay them back for everything they’ve done for us.” 

10-year-old Pablo, served Norfolk and Suffolk Constabularies' Joint Dog Section for eight years until his retirement in August 2019.

Carly and George Laflin have been running 4km everyday this month to raise money for the charity that saved their dog's life

Carly and George Laflin have been running 4km everyday this month to raise money for the charity that saved their dog's life - Credit: Carly and George Laflin

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During his time with police, the sniffer dog recovered more than £250,000 worth of drugs, cash, weapons and helped bring criminals to justice. 

The couple adopted him upon his retirement and he instantly became their beloved pet but grew concerned just before Christmas in 2020 when he started struggling to go the toilet and vets found a 4cm mass in his abdomen. 

Carly added: “We already spent around £1,500 on examinations and investigations so when they said he needed surgery and it would cost around £4,000 we walked away in tears, not knowing what we’d do. 

"Unfortunately, once police dogs retire they receive no further support from their force so it was our responsibility to get him the treatment he needed.” 

The couple applied to the Thin Blue Paw Foundation for financial support and the charity agreed to cover the bill. 

Trustee for the charity, Kieran Stanbridge, said: "Just like any pet, taking on a retired police dog is a huge responsibility.

Pablo after his operation 

Pablo after his operation - Credit: Carly and George Laflin

"But while we can get insurance for our pets to help us should something serious happen; police dogs are often uninsurable due to their previous working lives."

The fundraiser has currently raised £700 but the couple would like to hit the £1,000 before they run their final 4km on Monday, May 31.

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