Abandoned Belgian Malinois puppy found wandering streets gets rehomed as police dog

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A heartwarming video shows how an abandoned puppy found wandering the streets was rehomed - and is now sniffing out crimes as a police dog.

An uplifting video shows Russo the Belgian Malinois, a rescue puppy who has just passed an eight-week training course to become a qualified police dog. Russo, who is believed to be around 14 months old, was wandering the streets near Heathrow Airport and was introduced to the police as part of a rehoming project.

Rescue puppy will make ‘exceptional’ police dog

Police dog handling experts immediately spotted his potential and Russo was taken for tests to check his suitability. He has been partnered with PC Lee Huffer who he will live with while the pair tackle crime in Nottinghamshire.

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PC Huffer said: “Russo certainly had a tough start to his life – most of which we know very little about. What we do know, however, is that he has adapted to this new role extremely well and that he will make an exceptional police dog.”

In the video, Russo’s handler describes the rescue pup as a ‘joy to work with’, adding that he is ‘looking forward to seeing what we can achieve together as a team’.

Belgian Malinois make very demanding pets

Dog Section Sergeant Nicholas Dachtler explained that while a lot of people buy Belgian Malinois, very few are capable of meeting their needs. He said: “Belgian Malinois make excellent working dogs but very demanding pets. Sadly, some of these owners will not have the necessary skills or experience to train and own such a demanding dog – leading them to be given up to rescue centres or abandoned. I am just really pleased that Russo’s natural abilities as a working animal will now be put to use in protecting the public.”

Chief Inspector Amy English presented PC Huffer with his licensing certificate on Wednesday. She has praised the ‘dedication’ of PC Huffer, and other police dog handlers with Nottinghamshire Police, where Russo will be working.

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“Because police dogs are not just pieces of police equipment like a Taser or a car; they live with and are cared for every day by their handlers and are a major part of their personal lives as well as their work lives. The commitment to being a dog handler really is 24/7.”

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