Fiji, a retired police dog who saved lives, has been nominated for a top service award.
A RETIRED police dog has been nominated for an award for her work in locating vulnerable and suicidal individuals.
Fiji, a Belgian Shepherd, is one of four dogs chosen for the Autarky Hardest Working Dogs award in the assistance dog category. The Thin Blue Paw Foundation, an organization that rescues and rehabilitates serving and retired police canines, nominated the canine.
When her owner committed suicuide, Fiji began working for Surrey and Sussex Police at the age of four months.
Former police dog won acclaim and accolades for her hard work during her career, which included finding down a high-risk missing person.
Claire Bird, who worked with Fiji at Sussex Police, expressed her hope that her partner will be recognized.
When the new four-legged team member was assigned to the operational dog handler, she had recently returned from maternity leave.
“Fiji is the most fantastic dog and has helped so many people over her time as a police dog,” she said.
“While her career was cut short due to illness, I believe she deserves to be recognized for the job she accomplished, and I hope the people of Sussex and Surrey will vote for her.”
Claire recalled the most heroic event in Fiji’s history, saying, “An emergency call came in for a high-risk missing person, and there were suspicions he might have been suicidal.”
“We found him in just a few hours, thanks to Fiji’s incredible nose and training. He was in a state of unconsciousness, but he was still alive.
“Fiji had saved his life,” says the narrator.
Fiji began to become itchy as she grew older, and her veterinarian ordered a £140 injection to be given every six weeks.
Fiji could not be insured because she was a former working dog, so the Thin Blue Paw Foundation agreed to pay for all of her injections for the remainder of her life.
“The Thin Blue Paw Foundation is incredible,” Claire added. I’ve had police dogs hurt at work before, and I’ve always retained my working dogs after they retire, so it’s wonderful that Fiji can be cared for with Thin Blue Paw’s help.
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“If she requires medical assistance, the charity will always be there to assist her.
“I am extremely thankful that the organization can cover the price of Fiji’s frequent injections, allowing her to continue to be happy in.”