Owner pays tribute to three-legged crime-fighting dog

Douglas, pictured with Inspector Steve Hague

Douglas, pictured with Inspector Steve Hague - Credit: Archant

A THREE-LEGGED crime- fighting dog has died after four years on the beat.

Douglas, a 15-year-old mongrel, was rescued from a rubbish tip and went on to become top dog at Hertfordshire Constabulary prior to his death this month.

He represented the Royston Dog Watch, going into schools as a mascot for safety talks and leading community walks and events, as well as being part of other Dog Watch schemes across Hertfordshire.

Dog Watch Douglas, as he was known, was saved by Sarah Sheldrick after being found on a rubbish dump with a severe leg injury as a three-year-old.

Despite having his leg amputated, Douglas went on to perform at agility courses across the country, and appeared at Crufts in 2011.

His gentle nature also saw him play his part in a Pets as Therapy scheme, giving comfort and love to those in nursing homes, hospitals and day centres.

“Douglas proved there’s life after rescue,” said owner Sarah, who adopted Douglas from the Blue Cross.

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“During the 12 years he lived with me, he helped raise thousands of pounds for good causes. Douglas could reach people of all ages and different walks of life. He was a gentle boy with lots of love to give after the very cruel start he was given to his life.

“Since his death, I’ve received nearly 300 messages of condolence from members of the public. He made me very proud.”

Police inspector Steve Hague, who accompanied Douglas in the ring at Crufts, said: “Douglas was such a gentle and sweet-natured dog but his energy and skill on the agility course knew no bounds.

“I was incredibly sad to hear the news. Douglas’ appearances at Dog Watch events and in other community work he was involved in really engaged everyone from the oldest to the youngest, and he will be sorely missed.”

In honour of Douglas, a Doggie Day event will be held at the Town Centre Gardens in Stevenage on May 19.