Dog Files would like PC Gary Saunders to know that our thoughts and prayers go out to him and Baz.
For Baz, it should have been just a routine police job, but sadly it ended in tragedy.
Baz, a six-year-old Alsatian police dog from Northumbria, England, fell off the roof of a building as he searched for intruders – the day before he was due to retire.
His handler, PC Gary Saunders, described the dog’s death as a “devastating experience”.
“It has been one of the worst things I’ve encountered in 26 years of policing,” he said.
“Baz was a fearless and faithful partner who has, with me, encountered numerous highly dangerous situations but has died doing what most police dog and handler teams consider to be routine operational work.”
Baz was born in May 2004 and became a police dog in June 2005.
Two years later he started working as a firearms support dog.
He was due to retire from general work, and his last operational day would have been March 18, the day after his fatal accident.
Sergeant John Sim, who is in charge of the dog section at Northumbria Police, said that Baz had “given years of loyal service to the public and Northumbria Police”.
“Police dogs live at home with their handlers and they become part of the family. He had formed a strong and lasting bond with his handler and his handler’s family,” he said.