Family fight to keep police dog
A police dog who saved his handler from an axe-wielding attacker has been put on death row at the end of his service, according to the handler’s family. Saxon, a five-year-old German Shepherd, protected Mike Townley, 47, many times during his time with Gwent Police.
But his licence has been withdrawn as he is now considered “unsafe”. The last dog this happened to was destroyed. The Townleys want to keep Saxon as a pet.
Gwent Police said Saxon’s future was under consideration.
As a serving police officer, Mr Townley, a Home Office dog instructor, was unable to comment on Gwent Police’s decision to retire Saxon from active service.
Two youths came out and wanted to beat my husband up – the dog stood in front of them and wouldn’t let them near him
However, he has applied to keep Saxon as a pet and a campaign to see the dog released from the police kennels at Usk, Monmouthshire, has been launched by his wife, Caroline.
Mrs Townley said the family owed a debt of gratitude to Saxon, for saving her husband’s life on more than one occasion, as well as “feeling hundreds of collars”.
She said her husband was told last week that Saxon, who has represented the Gwent force at regional police dog trials, was to be put down and that decision had been confirmed.
And why the death sentence?
Mrs Townley said her husband has been told Saxon is unsafe because he bit Mr Townley twice in the first year they worked together.
But she said: “He says it was completely his own fault. The dog was being defensive. Mike said Saxon has not bitten anyone unless he has told him to.”
How scary can Saxon be if his family, including the man he bit, are so upset over the thought of losing him? Come on, police oficials, get some sense. If the family wants Saxon and THEY don’t think he’s unsafe, why should you?