Long-serving West Midlands Police dog dies
A long-serving West Midlands Police dog has died prompting a series of tributes from members of the public.
Police dog Ska died on Tuesday with his family by his side after three years of retirement.
A handler from the West Midlands Police Dogs Twitter account posted on social media calling him an "awesome" police dog.
The post said: "We said goodbye to Police Dog 4003 Ska.
"His family were by his side when he drifted asleep for the final time following three happy years of retirement.
"He was an awesome police dog and served the West Midlands with pride."
Ska's handler, PC Keith Bennett, had Ska since he was 12 months old in 2009.
He said: "He was very very easy to train, he was awesome. He just wanted to please you really.
"We went to schools, scouts, he was one of the stars of the show at Crufts for many many years.
"I have two young children and Ska became our pet basically. He was the same age as my son Jamie so they grew up together.
"Ska had a really nice retirement, he settled down really well and enjoyed lying in the sun in the garden."
PC Bennett said Ska helped to catch criminals, find vulnerable missing people, and even chased after a driver when he crashed through onto their front lawn.
"In 2014 he was awarded Dog Action of the Year," he added. "He tracked one missing person who was quite vulnerable and Ska saved her life.
"He found her in a garage. It's not just about catching the baddies, that's just one part of what we do.
"A car was stolen from a burglary and it crashed on my own front lawn in 2012.
"I went down and let Ska out and said to the man 'police stand still' and he ran off.
"I told Ska to get him and he looked at me as if to say this is my day off though, but he still got him.
"The man was charged and ended up in court."
Julie Ridley tweeted saying: "Your shift is over officer Ska. Thank you for your service to the public. Run free with the angels. Love to your family and friends."
Essex Retired Police Dogs Fund said: "Sincere condolences to the handler and family of retired PD Ska, loyal and faithful to the very end.
"RIP Police Dog SKA."
Kim Haughey added: "Fly high PD Ska run free in the rainbow park.
"Thank you for your service thoughts and prayers with your family."
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