Service Dogs - PD Fiji
Belgian Malinois PD Fiji has been nominated by Communications Manager, Amy Ockelford from Thin Blue Paw Foundation — a national dog welfare charity that protects, celebrates, and rehabilitates both serving and retired police dogs from across the United Kingdom.
PD Fiji has saved many lives and helped to protect members of the public during her six years’ service career with Surrey and Sussex Police. PD Fiji joined the force when she was just four months old after being rescued when her owner tragically committed suicide. She was paired with operational dog handler Claire Bird, who had just returned from maternity leave.
Claire told us: “After a three-month training course, we hit the streets and it wasn’t long before we had our first real test together. An emergency call came in for a high-risk missing person, with concerns they were suicidal. Within just a few hours, thanks to PD Fiji’s amazing nose and training, we located them. They were unconscious but alive, and PD Fiji saved their life.”
PD Fiji received a commendation for her work that night and then went on to help so many other people during her service. Claire said: “Sadly, PD Fiji pulled a ligament in her leg one day, ending her career suddenly. PD Fiji, unfortunately, had to retire after six years of incredible service and now lives with me and my family.”
As Fiji has got older, she’s started to get really itchy legs, resulting in the vets prescribing her a special injection which needs to be administered every six weeks. As an ex-working dog, Fiji can’t be insured so the Thin Blue Paw Foundation has agreed to pay for every injection for the rest of her life.
It’s brilliant that inspirational dogs, such as Fiji, can be looked after long into their retirement with the support of Thin Blue Paw, allowing dogs like Fiji to continue being happy as they grow old.
If you think Fiji’s hard work means she deserves to win the Service Dogs category, putting her in the running for the title of Autarky Hardest Working Dog 2021, then make sure you cast your vote here.