Police officers often spend more time with their partners than their own families. And when their partner has four legs, a bushy tail, and undying loyalty, it’s hard not to get attached.
Four years ago, Sergeant David Evans was paired with a nine-month-old German Shepherd puppy named Ivy, who would be his K-9 partner. Four years later, the two have become inseparable. However, now that David is about to retire after 34 years on the force, the police department is forcing the partners to separate so Ivy can be re-handled with another officer.
“Dad spends more time with the dog than he does with mum and the family. When they go out, it’s always based on how many hours they can go out for as they’ve got to come back for Ivy,” said David’s daughter Jennie. “He wouldn’t leave Ivy in the kennel for more than a couple of hours. I couldn’t tell you the last time they had a holiday. Ivy is dad’s life. They are happy to sacrifice holidays as he knows Ivy would miss him and he’d miss Ivy too.”
“He spends all his time with her. It’s literally a kind of bond you’d have to see to understand. She hangs off dad’s every word. She’s completely committed. They are in each other’s pockets entirely,” said Jennie who started a petition to let her dad keep Ivy that got more than 35,000 signatures, which unfortunately did nothing to help her dad.
“It’s going to traumatic for both of them to be ripped apart in such a terrible way. It’s just as traumatic for Ivy as for dad. Our home is the longest most stable place she’s had. To be taken from that and to be put somewhere else is detrimental as she won’t understand why it’s happening. No doubt that ivy is going to get depressed. Mentally to drag her away from someone she loves and put her with someone else and expect her to form a bond is not good for a dog’s welfare.”
“Although the dogs live with their handlers and have close relationships with them, they are not family pets. They belong to the force and are highly valued resources,” Chief Constable Bangham said in response to the petition. “PD Ivy is very young and has many years service ahead of her. She will, therefore stay with the force and be re-handled with another officer.”
“It is also extremely sad that this is how West Mercia Police repays a man who has dedicated 34 years of his life to the Police Force. Dave has even offered to buy Ivy or cover expenses of another dog to replace her job and they have even refused this,” Jennie added.
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[Featured Image: Jennie Evans]