How abandoned Staffie became bomb-sniffing police dog protecting royal family

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Five-year-old Roxy was abandoned by her owners in 2017. She was rescued by the RSPCA and taken in by the charity’s West Hatch Animal Centre in Somerset. The staff, who have spent decades working with police forces to identify and supply rescue dogs, soon spotted Roxy’s potential.

Roxy initially joined Avon & Somerset Police for her initial 10-week training where she learned what scents she was looking for and how to indicate the presence and location of the odours. 

After a few years, Roxy became the only Staffie working as an explosives search dog in the UK, as well as the only dog of her breed working within the Hampshire and Thames Valley dog unit. 

Now fully trained, Roxy and her handler PC Carter carry out security sweeps before high-profile public events and VIP visits, search for suspicious packages, sweep venues ahead of Royal and Ministerial visits, as well as responding to bomb threats and searching private jets.

PC Carter said: “We work together to search for explosives in lots of circumstances, to make sure VIPs and members of the public are safe.

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RSPCA dog welfare expert, Dr Samantha Gaines, said: “Sadly, Staffies often receive a bad reputation that they simply don’t deserve.

“Just like any dog, given the right upbringing and care, they can make loving family pets or, like Roxy, crime-fighting sniffer heroes!

“Unfortunately, staffies have suffered from overbreeding and bad press in recent years and we see more Staffordshire bull terriers and Staffie-crosses coming into our care than any other type of dog.

“But dogs like Roxy are a wonderful example of how clever Staffies can be and may help to change the public’s perception of the breed.”

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