Police Dog Kaiser – PDSA Gold Medal

German Shepherd Police Dog (PD) Kaiser receives the PDSA Gold Medal for his life-saving devotion to duty with the Metropolitan Police Service.

PD Kaiser showed devotion to duty when he detained a person who was extremely high risk to the public, earning him this prestigious medal. This makes him the 31st recipient since the PDSA Gold Medal was introduced in 2002. Watch his incredible story here:

PD Kaiser’s story

German Shepherd Police Dog (PD) Kaiser served with the Metropolitan Police Service, alongside his handler, Police Constable (PC) Mark Woolcott for five years.

At 8.30pm on Sunday 30 May 2021, PD Kaiser and PC Woolcott were on duty and responded to an incident in the area of Biggin Hill in the London Borough of Bromley. A missing person’s report had been filed with the police after a person who was suffering from severe mental illness and drug psychosis had left home armed with a kitchen knife. After leaving the house, the person had vandalised a neighbour’s car before taking off into nearby woodland. He was believed to be an extremely high risk to public safety.

When PD Kaiser and PC Woolcott arrived at the scene, they started a search for the person, aiming to find him before he seriously injured himself or a member of the public. After a long search which covered a vast area, the person was seen at a local golf club. He had vandalised several cars before again taking off into nearby woodland. PD Kaiser and PC Woolcott headed over to search this location but did not find the person.

A further sighting was reported on a farm near Downe Village. PD Kaiser and PC Woolcott arrived at the scene and started searching. They had now been searching for the suspect for two and a half hours. When PD Kaiser suddenly started to indicate at a metal five-bar gate heading into fields, PC Woolcott knew they were closing in on the person.

PD Kaiser in action

Since it was now dark, PC Woolcott made the decision to release PD Kaiser to free-track, which gave him the freedom to independently search for the person and bark to alert once found.

PD Kaiser started searching and quickly found the person in the undergrowth. The man lashed out at him, but he managed to detain him by latching onto his right arm with a full mouth bite. Trying to escape, the man started stabbing and slashing PD Kaiser in the face. However, PD Kaiser remained determined to keep hold of the suspect until his handler joined him.

When PC Woolcott heard the alert, he found PD Kaiser and the person despite poor visibility. He arrested the person before turning his attention to PD Kaiser, who had sustained devastating injuries whilst detaining the attacker. He was stabbed up to 6 times down the length of his face. PC Woolcott rushed him to the vet for emergency surgery.

Amazingly, PD Kaiser was back home within 48 hours and was well looked after by PC Woolcott. Within two weeks, PD Kaiser’s recovery was going well so he was given a gradual return to training. He was soon back on active duty and within two shifts, he safely detained suspects at a train station.

PD Kaiser and PC Woolcott have a strong and unique bond. Whilst PD Kaiser’s primary role is as an operational police dog, he is also part of the family. PD Kaiser retired in March 2022 and has settled into retirement, still living with PC Woolcott.

If it wasn’t for the actions of PD Kaiser on 30 May 2021, a member of the public or a Police Officer could have been seriously injured. PD Kaiser’s actions showed unwavering devotion to duty, despite getting serious injuries in the process. His courageous and professional actions were remarkable; he is a worthy recipient of the PDSA Gold Medal.

PDSA Gold Medal recipient PD Kaiser
PDSA Gold Medal recipient PD Kaiser with his handler PC Mark Woolcott

Learn more about the PDSA Gold Medal

Animals sometimes display heroic capabilities in extraordinary situations. The PDSA Gold Medal recognises this. Quite simply, it is the highest animal honour for life-saving devotion to duty in civilian life.