Police dog finds 'forever home' after big response to appeal
A police dog who lost a leg in the line of duty has been rehomed following a heart-warming response to an appeal for a new owner.
Baloo served with Essex Police from March 2018 but was forced to retire after being hit by a car, which was fleeing a crime scene.
The two-year-old Belgian Malinois shattered her pelvis and broke her leg, which had to be amputated.
The force put out an appeal in December and received around 670 emails from across the UK and beyond to rehome the heroic dog.
A spokesman for Essex Police said: “We are pleased to tell you that Baloo has found her forever home.
“Thank you to everyone for your support, we’ve had people from across the country and even from as far as Australia get in touch with us to offer a loving home.”
Baloo’s handler Pc Ross Ashcroft, who was unable to keep Baloo due to the nature of his role and the hours it demands, considered several people before making a decision.
But eventually chose retired police dog handler of 24 years Mandy Chapman and her partner Victoria, who live in rural Essex.
The couple have acres of private farmland for Baloo to explore along with their other pet – five-year-old Jack Russell Titch.
The pair are also local to Pc Ashcroft, who will be able to keep in touch with Baloo through regular visits.
Baloo has recovered well from her injuries and will benefit from further hydrotherapy sessions, which her new owners will take her to.
PC Ashcroft said: “She has been a brilliant dog both at work and at home.
“As confident as she was at work, she was an absolute softie when taken out of work who wanted nothing more than attention and cuddles.
“She is a very loyal protective dog and loved life as a police dog.”
Miss Chapman will be taking Baloo to fundraising events with the Essex Retired Police Dogs Fund to raise awareness of the charity.
The charity can provide some help towards medical expenses and works all year round to recognise the service the dogs give to the county.
For more on the charity, visit www.essexretiredpolicedogs.uk
People can see how Baloo is settling in by following her on Twitter (@PBaloo) and Instagram (@RPDBaloo).