A Police dog, who was out on his first shift, has been honoured with a national award for his success in finding a missing woman and her baby.
Max, a Dyfed-Powys Police dog, won the Hero category at the Daily Mirror Animal Hero Awards 2020 for his tracking skills, which led officers to the missing pair.
On 1st August 2020, Max, a two-year-old German Shepherd cross, and his handler PC Peter Lloyd were on their first operational shift together, when the force received a call reporting the pair missing.
A search was launched straight away with officers joining from all departments to help find the missing woman.
PC Lloyd said :
“They’d been missing for some time so there was big concern”
“There was a one-year-old baby, it wasn’t a warm day and at night the temperature had dropped considerably. She’d been out all night with the child. You do ramp up your search and give it that extra bit.”
Police said that after 90 minutes of searching, Max led PC Lloyd to the edge of a steep ravine, where the woman was waving and calling for help. Mother and baby were cold and tired, but otherwise unharmed.
PC Lloyd added: “His training is to search for open areas. We searched all sorts of terrain, ravines, valleys, lakes.
“Max remained focused throughout the long search and he proved invaluable when he reacted to the call for help which resulted in us locating them.”
Pc Lloyd and Max had only met five months prior to the incident and it proved that their hard work and training had paid off when Max picked up on a sound during the search.
PC Lloyd said :
“I met Max first when he was brought to us as a potential police dog. He was untrained at that time and had very basic commands.
“What Max reacts to is listening to noises and voices. We were searching quite hard in a deep fern area and I thought I heard a little shout. He spun his head, he looked up the bank and was very focused on where the shout came from. I reacted to that and then he guided me to where he thought it was, and together we were able to locate them.
“He remained focused throughout the long search and he proved invaluable.
“You’d never expect to have such a great result from him on his first deployment. It was a difficult search, a long search. We’re all so proud.”
Receiving the award, PC Lloyd added:
“I would like to thank everyone who voted for Max to be nominated for this award, and to the judges who decided he should be the recipient. He is very pleased – as am I.”
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