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Heroic Suffolk police dog who saved handler from stabbing dies

PUBLISHED: 16:11 27 July 2018 | UPDATED: 16:12 27 July 2018

Aman worked with police dog handler PC Steve Jay at Martlesham HQ before they both retired in 2012. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Aman worked with police dog handler PC Steve Jay at Martlesham HQ before they both retired in 2012. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Archant

Police dog Aman, who suffered life-threatening injuries at the hands of a knifeman back in 2011, has died after a battle with degenerative myelopathy.

Aman training with PC Tony Russell. Picture: LUCY TAYLORAman training with PC Tony Russell. Picture: LUCY TAYLOR

Aman was a German Shepherd working for Suffolk Constabulary, based in Martlesham, with handler PC Steve Jay.

The canine was recognised for his bravery in 2011 after putting his life on the line to protect his handler. He sustained life-threatening injuries when the pair were attacked with a knife

The German Shepherd received the Police Dog Action and Humanitarian of the Year at Crufts, the Daily Mirror Service Dog of the Year and special recognition at the Stars of Suffolk awards.

Mr Jay said: “I had never had a dog like him, he was just unique. When he arrived aged 17 months from Germany he was already partly trained, so I had to learn German to give him his commands on the job.”

Stars of Suffolk awards 2011 at Endeavour House in Ipswich. Steve Jay with colleagues and police dog Aman. Picture: ANDY ABBOTTStars of Suffolk awards 2011 at Endeavour House in Ipswich. Steve Jay with colleagues and police dog Aman. Picture: ANDY ABBOTT

He added: “He is sorely missed - a dog like him only comes along once in a lifetime.”

During the knife incident in 2011 Pc Jay sustained stab wounds to his arms and back, while Aman’s injuries to his shoulders and chest were so severe he had to be rushed into emergency surgery.

While recovering from the operation, Pc Jay took Aman to meet local children to teach them about the responsibilities of police dogs.

“His temperament was lovely - when we went to schools and youth clubs after the stabbing he was so friendly,” said Mr Jay.

After retiring, Aman was diagnosed with degenerative myelopathy, a genetic condition that causes dogs to lose the use of their hind legs and weakens their spine.

Although the illness is medically painless it can be uncomfortable for a dog to drag themselves and distressing to lose the use of their limbs.

The disease is particularly common in breeds like German Shepherds.

Despite losing his mobility, Mr Jay described Aman as being as sharp as he was when on the force.

“His brain was still razor sharp but his body couldn’t do it any more.”

Aman died on Friday, 20 July as a result of his condition.

Police dogs so not receive any special burial treatment, so Mr Jay intends to take his ashes to the park he would walk Aman in when off duty.

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