A dog removed from his owners because of concerns he was being beaten is ‘passing out’ as a West Yorkshire Police dog today (Friday 1 November). 

Chance with PC Mick Kilburn

German Shepherd dog ‘Chance’, as he’s been re-named, was found to be living in a small, dark kennel with no access to food or water outside a house in Bradford.

His owners signed him over to us but rehoming him was difficult because of his nervous and aggressive behaviour.

Gena Cameron from RSPCA Leeds, Wakefield & District Branch said:

“Our team of behaviour experts were his last chance really, which is where the name came from.


“They worked really hard with him and saw some big improvements but he was still going to need a special type of home.


“We were over the moon when a visiting police dog handler asked about him and it was agreed that they would assess him with a view to him joining the force.”

Chance demonstrated the ability looked for in a Police Dog

Chance was allocated to dog handler PC Mick Kilburn to replace his dog who was due to retire. He immediately demonstrated the raw ability looked for in a General Purpose Police Dog and, ten weeks of intensive training later, is now getting his licence.

PC Kilburn said:

“As a police dog handler your dogs become your life – it’s not a 9-5 job – you take them home with you, care and look after them 24/7, they aren’t just a tool that is used by the police, they become your work partner, friend and protector.


“I couldn’t be more proud of how well Chance has done.


“I was delighted to be able to give him the ‘chance’ he deserved and look forward to working with him, serving the communities of West Yorkshire.”

Police dogs are a valuable part of the policing team

Chance is one of three trainee police dogs who will pass out at the ceremony.

Inspector Lorna Meredith, who is in charge of the Dogs Section at West Yorkshire Police, said:

“Police dogs remain a very valuable part of the policing team, and although the majority of our dogs are provided by our own puppy scheme, which began in 2006, there is always room for the occasional ‘gift dog’ so long as it meets our very high standards.


Chance is an excellent recruit, and has now been trained in tracking, searching, obedience and criminal work, and I’m sure that he and his handler are looking forward to patrolling the streets of West Yorkshire. It’s a very happy ending for us all.”

Gena added:

“Everyone at RSPCA Leeds, Wakefield & District Branch is thrilled that Chance is getting this second shot at life with the West Yorkshire Police in such a useful and heroic role.


“There are so many rescue animals just waiting for a new home and Chance is a great ambassador for rescue dogs everywhere.”

To find out more about the dogs in the branch’s care visit the RSPCA Leeds, Wakefield & District Branch website or telephone the branch dog adoption hotline on 07743 773871.

Next week marks the launch of our ‘Everyday Heroes’ winter campaign – which aims to encourage people to be a hero for animals. From simple seasonal things like keeping chocolate away from pets during celebrations like Halloween to checking under bonfires for hibernating hedgehogs…small actions can make a big difference for animals.

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