PDSA honours heroic and devoted Scottish dogs

Three heroic and devoted Scottish dogs have been honoured by PDSA for their bravery and devotion to duty.

Police Dog Ozzy

Police Dog Ozzy became the 25th recipient of the PDSA Gold Medal for his bravery and life-saving actions disarming an armed assailant threatening to blow up a block of flats.

Before his retirement, nine-year-old PD Ozzy worked for Police Scotland. In 2015, Ozzy and his handler, Police Constable Brian Tennant, were called to an incident at a flat in Falkirk, where a man had assaulted two people at knifepoint. On arrival, they discovered the man had severed a gas pipe and was threatening to blow up the building.

The occupants of the flats were evacuated, leaving PC Tennant and PD Ozzy able to enter the building. The armed assailant charged at them, shouting threats, while attempting to ignite the gas with a lighter.

After warning the assailant, PC Tennant released Ozzy, who tackled the man to the ground, where he was disarmed and arrested.

PD Ozzy’s intervention prevented the man from harming himself, potentially others and causing extensive damage to the building.

Commenting on the award, PC Brian Tennant, said: “Ozzy has been a loyal and extemporary police dog throughout his career. He has assisted with apprehending numerous criminals, saved lives and prevented countless injuries to members of the public and fellow police officers. Receiving the PDSA Gold Medal is a fitting end to his distinguished career. I am incredibly proud of him.”

Police Dog Ozzy

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Police Dog Sweep

Police Dog Sweep, a Working Cocker Spaniel, received his PDSA Order of Merit for outstanding devotion to duty while working as Detection Dog for Lothian and Borders Police and Police Scotland. He is the 15th recipient of the honour.

During a career spanning 2007 to 2015, 11-year-old PD Sweep was trained to detect drugs, firearms, cash and poison and worked alongside Police Constable Rhona Meikle.

In 2012, PD Sweep became the UK’s only Poison Detection Dog, after being trained to find Carbofuran, a deadly banned poison used to target birds of prey. He remained in this exclusive role until his retirement in 2015.

During his service, PD Sweep completed around 100 successful searches, removing dangerous weapons, drugs and poisons from the streets of Scotland. He successfully located £512,000 worth of street drugs, £250,000 of cash, six shotguns, three handguns, a flare gun, two rifles, 3,500 shotgun cartridges and 1,000 rounds of ammunition.

PD Sweep’s unique skills and devotion to duty have undeniably made Scotland safer for civilians and wildlife.

Commenting on the award, PC Rhona Meikle said: “Sweep has made a huge contribution to the fight against violent and organised crime in Scotland. He has also helped protect Scottish wildlife through his poisons detection work. I’m so pleased he has awarded the PDSA Order of Merit. I’ve always known he’s special and now so does everyone else!”

Police Dog Sweep

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Sabby (Sabakka)

Thirteen-year-old Labrador Sabby (Sabakka) is now the 16th recipient of the PDSA Order of Merit. She was awarded the honour in recognition of her role supporting people with learning difficulties.

Sabby retired in 2016 after a distinguished ten-year career working with the NHS Lanarkshire Learning Disability Occupational Therapy Service team. During that time she worked alongside Jacqueline Evans, an Occupational Therapy Assistant Practitioner, helping people with learning disabilities both in the community and the hospital.

Her warm and gentle nature helped her develop a special relationship with patients, allowing them to develop skills, make decisions and learn responsibilities. Opportunities that, without Sabby’s involvement, would have been unavailable to them.

Sabby has also worked alongside clinical psychologists, supporting patients who suffer from extreme dog phobias. Her involvement has been recognised as a key factor in enabling these patients to become further integrated into their community.

Sabby’s work with the NHS Lanarkshire is an excellent example of the special relationship between human and animals.

Jacqueline Evans said: “After many years of devoted service, it is wonderful that Sabby’s skills and commitment to our patients have been recognised by PDSA. She is now enjoying her well-earned retirement and is greatly missed by all the patients and staff she has selflessly helped over the years.”

Sabby the dog

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