A hard-working Lothians police dog has received a top award by vet charity the PDSA for outstanding devotion to duty.
Police Dog Sweep, a working Cocker Spaniel, spent eight years detecting drugs, firearms, cash and even poison while working alongside “partner” Police Constable Rhona Meikle.
In 2012, PD Sweep became the UK’s only Poison Detection Dog, after being trained to find Carbofuran, a deadly banned poison used to target birds of prey, and kept up this exclusive role until his retirement in 2015.
During his service PD Sweep completed around 100 successful searches, removing dangerous weapons, drugs and poisons from the streets of Scotland.
He successfully located £512,000 worth of street drugs, £250,000 in cash, six shotguns, three handguns, a flare gun, two rifles, 3,500 shotgun cartridges and 1,000 rounds of ammunition.
A PDSA spokesperson said: “PD Sweep’s unique skills and devotion to duty have undeniably made Scotland safer for civilians and wildlife.”
Commenting on the award, PC Rhona Meikle said: “Sweep has made a huge contribution to the fight against violent and organised crime in Scotland.
“He has also helped protect Scottish wildlife through his poisons detection work.
“I’m so pleased he has been awarded the PDSA Order of Merit. I’ve always known he’s special and now so does everyone else.”