Monday, March 17, 2008


Meet the hound who prefers wheelies to walkies. Ex-police dog Max patrols his ­rural beat on a set of wheels, which help support his unstable hips.
After he was forced to throw in his badge, his former colleagues – both canine and human – raised cash for the chariot.

'Max was a top sniffer dog and helped convict many dealers,' said Insp Anne Higgins, who took him in.

'That made it all the more sad when he was forced to retire. He was bursting with energy but could barely move.'

During his six years with the police dog unit, Max was used in major drug searches. But he developed arthritis and hip displasia, which made his hips wobble, and he was sent into retirement.

'He had to leave duty two years early. He had so much energy left,' said 44-year-old Ms Higgins. Avon and Somerset force handlers and dogs did a sponsored hike and raised money for the made-to-order wheels.

'The chariot has done wonders. He can't wait to get in it every day and run all over the place,' added Ms Higgins, who works with Devon and Cornwall police.
'He absolutely loves it – because he has always worked he sees pulling the wheels along as his job.'

When Max isn't whizzing around near Cullompton, Devon, he likes chasing balls with his friend, Stanley. He also loves swimming and has regular hydrotherapy.

But although Max could have a new ­career as a therapy dog lined up, Ms Higgins is grateful to his old workmates.

'They've given him the best retirement he could have,' she said.

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