1. How many police dogs does the force have? Please provide figures every financial year since 2006.
2. How many police dogs have been injured (please state type of injury such as stab, kick etc) in the line of duty since 2006? Please provide breakdown per financial year. How many of those had to retire due to their injuries?
3. How many police dogs have been killed or had to be put to sleep due to injuries sustained in the line of duty in South Yorkshire since 2006? Please provide breakdown per financial year.
4. What is the cost of training a police dog from puppy to active duty? If there are different costs for different categories/specialisms, i.e. drug dogs, bomb dogs etc, please provide a breakdown for each ‘type’.
5. What is the cost of annual upkeep for a police dog? Please provide breakdown per financial year since 2006.
I approached our Joint Specialist Operations Unit for assistance with your request. The Manager of Dog Training has provided the information from which the following responses have been compiled:
One dog slightly injured in 2014 following a road traffic accident where a drunk driver hit the parked dog van. (The handlers retired police dog, also in the van, sustained serious injuries and had to be euthanized).
No Police dog has had to retire following injuries.
South Yorkshire Police have a policy that no healthy dog will be euthanized.
1 dog has been euthanized following injuries sustained on duty. The Police Dog was being exercised, ran out into the road and was struck by a passing vehicle sustaining extensive back injuries.
(1 other dog was euthanized on duty, but not from injuries sustained on duty. The police dog became very unwell showing signs of shock. The handler took the dog to the vet who discovered a blockage and was subsequently diagnosed with stomach cancer.
Questions 4 & 5
As you may be aware, Section 8 of the Freedom of Information Act applies to all recorded information a public authority may hold. There is no recorded information that sets out the total costs of training a puppy through to active duty or the annual upkeep of a police dog. As such, our formal response to this question would have to be one of ‘no information held’.
However the Dog Training Manager has provided the following estimates as a gesture of goodwill.
The cost of a South Yorkshire Puppy for 12 months is £300 Food and £100 vets, estimated. Total £400.Estimated.
A patrol dog course will cost approx. £15,000 broken down into the Police officers wage, approx. £9,000 for 3 months. Then £500 per week instructor £6,000.
Equipment and kennels and food etc is an estimated £3,500.
The specialist dogs are reduced by the length of the course. Drugs, 6 weeks £7,500, estimated and explosive detection 8 weeks £9,500 estimate.