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Puppy rescued from van becomes specialist blood detection dog

A spaniel who was rescued by the RSPCA from the back of a van in Kent is now a police detection dog.

The spaniel, named Bella, was rescued at 20 weeks old in poor condition from a van in Ashford.

She was one of three dogs rescued by the RSPCA from the van where they were living in “completely inappropriate conditions”.

RSPCA Kent Chief Inspector Nick Wheelhouse brought the dog to meet the local dog legislation officer who suggested she would make a great police search dog.

She lived with a volunteer puppy walker and worked with Kent’s Dog Section before she qualified as a forensic recovery dog in March 2022 alongside her handler PC Alan Smith.

Chief Inspector Craig West, of Kent Police’s Dog Section, said: “We enjoy a strong partnership with the RSPCA and were delighted to be able to give Bella a loving home and welcome her to the Kent Police family.

“Dogs like Bella who are trained to detect blood use their extraordinary sense of smell to track down evidence at scenes of crime, or to help locate people who may be injured and in need of our assistance.”

The RSPCA works consistently with a number of dog units across the country so neglected dogs can be trained to work with the police.

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