Following the stabbing of a service dog during duty, the West Mercia Police force wanted to honour their canine workforce in a memorable way. Currently there are no memorials within Shropshire or the wider West Mercia region created specifically to honour service dogs, so the force contacted the British ironwork Centre near Oswestry with the view to creating one.
Joanne Jones of the Centre says, “These dogs are immensely self-sacrificing, often going headfirst into precarious and highly dangerous situations for the ultimate protection of their handlers and our community.”
The memorial will be made from items relating to the dogs’ lives, including training equipment, leads, whistles, dog bowls, and apprehended knives and guns; there’s also a space for the ID tags of police dogs. Joanne adds, “We’ve already had the seized knives and decommissioned guns delivered to us by the West Mercia Police. Each weapon has been carefully stored in a safe room here at the British Ironwork Centre, waiting to be sculpted into something truly unique.”
Pictured: Ironworks chair Clive Knowles (left) with Craig Prerer of West Mercia Police, springer spaniel Alfie and German shepherd Falco