Do you have what it takes to be a police puppy foster carer?
The Sussex Police Dog Unit is seeking applications from families to look after their four-legged friends until they are ready to step up their careers.
In return, you could receive all the care and cuddles you wish from a police pup like Quest.
Quest is a stunning eight-month-old Fox Red Labrador who was bred in Lincolnshire and recruited alongside his brother Quaver at the Surrey Police and Sussex Police Dog Training School.
Kennel Master Emma Coles said: “Quest has been with his allocated foster family since he was eight weeks. They have done an amazing job at raising such a fun-loving, social and happy dog.
“Quest loves life, he enjoys nothing more than nice walks, lots of love, toys, play and more play. He is now ready to develop his training further and is stepping up his Police Dog career along to the next level.
“Last week he said a sad farewell to his loving foster family and he has now gone to live at home with his potential new handler.”
The Surrey Police and Sussex Police Dog Unit is made up of German Shepherds, Belgian Malinois, Spaniels and Labradors. They are trained for multiple purposes including detecting drugs, weapons and explosives, searching for missing or wanted people, and assisting in public order incidents such as crowd control.
Emma said: “We can’t thank Quest’s foster family enough for all of their hard work and dedication. Without families such as these, we would not be able to do what we do.
“Quest’s foster carers will get the opportunity to know how he progresses with his new handler and once he is fully trained, they will be given the opportunity to come back in, watch him work and show off his new-found skills.”
Frequently asked questions, answered by the Sussex Police Dog Unit:
How long will we have the puppy? This can vary, but in general from eight weeks up until 8-12 months old.
Do we need experience? No, we have a variety of foster families in our team ranging from a lifetime of experience with working dogs to no experience at all.
Can the puppy be housed with children? Yes, we want our puppies socialised with children of all ages.
Can the puppy be housed with other dogs? Yes, if the other dogs are over 12 months of age and of sound temperament.
Can the puppy be housed with other animals? Yes, we encourage socialisation of our puppies with other animals. We will always provide guidance on how to correctly introduce your new puppy to the family and other animals.
Do police provide any funding for the puppies? We will cover the costs of food, equipment, training and veterinary care.
What breeds do Surrey Police and Sussex Police have in their breeding programme? German Shepherds, Belgian Malinois, Labradors, and Cocker and Springer Spaniels.
What is the criteria to be a puppy foster carer? You must:
• Be over 18 years of age
• Attend puppy training classes as often as required
• Drive or have access to a car on a daily basis
• Have no more than four leaving hours a day
• Have your own secure garden
• Have time to devote
• Be very patient!