Tuesday, August 8, 2023 – A police dog has been shot and killed after turning on his female handler while searching for a missing person.
Armed officers shot dead PD Jax, a six-year-old dog that had served with Lancashire Police for more than five years after the animal’s handler suffered a leg injury.
The force said officers were forced to kill the animal after it ‘became aggressive’ during a search for a missing person in a village near Preston, Lancashire, this morning.
The dog which was a cross between a Belgian Malinois and a Dutch Herder was specially trained in finding people hiding in water.
PD Jax had previously sniffed out offenders hiding in the canal, and in 2020 chased down a drunk driver who fled the scene after crashing a car.
Last year, PD Jax helped track a vulnerable woman in her 20s who went missing in a mountain range.
Last July the dog also caught a driver hiding in bushes who was then arrested for dangerous driving and drug driving without insurance and a licence.
The police dog handler suffered a serious upper leg injury and remains in hospital.
Police said attempts were made to restrain the dog but these ‘failed’.
The force added: ‘All efforts to restrain the dog failed and given the continuing threat to the injured officer and other patrols, PD Jax was shot at the scene by armed officers, and sadly died.’
Police were searching for a missing person in a field in Walton-le-Dale, when the incident occurred.
Supt Hassan Khan, of Lancashire Police, said the force had been left devastated by what happened and the outcome.
Mr Khan said: ‘This is never an easy decision for any officer to take, but police have a duty to act where necessary before any further injury is caused, whether to officers, or members of the public. We would never put anyone at risk of further harm.
‘These are highly trained, working dogs which do a skilled job, but like any dog can present a danger in certain circumstances.
‘We know how much our dogs are loved by the people of Lancashire and beyond, as well as our own staff.’
‘Our thoughts are very much with the injured officer while she undergoes treatment for serious leg injuries and she is receiving our full support.
‘Given the circumstances the incident will be reviewed in due course.’