A Spaniel who served with Cambridgeshire police for more than 10 years has died.
Former drugs, cash and weapons detection dog Brewster, who was aged 15, was Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire (BCH) Dog Unit’s oldest serving dog and made national headlines when he finally hung up his lead in January last year (2016).
Originally from North Yorkshire, Brewster’s previous owners decided to gift him to the police after realising he had too much energy for them.
Within three weeks of taking Brewster on, the naturally inquisitive canine was fully trained and licensed as a drugs, cash and weapons detection dog.
The Spaniel, who had two different coloured eyes, began active service in August 2005 and stayed on patrol with his handler, PC Dave Pert, up until his retirement.
Brewster was one of the most well-known dogs from the unit, having worked across the three counties and beyond, providing mutual aid to other police forces including Norfolk and Suffolk.
Brewster’s specialist nose, which was trained to detect various types of drugs in vehicles, buildings and open spaces, was utilised at a number of incidents and warrants over the years, some of which made press headlines.
In 2015 the hound detected items suspected to be cannabis in Chapmore End, near Ware, and Watford leading to a number of arrests.
His keen sense of smell was always welcomed by officers as he successfully located items that may have had otherwise been missed due to how well they had been hidden.
Brewster also took part in multi-agency operations at service stations on key roads including the M1 and M25, playing his part in stopping the transport of illegal drugs and cash. Additionally, he worked at Luton Airport where he was tasked with detecting items being smuggled into and out of the country.
As well as tackling crime, Brewster and his handler also helped promote the police and spread crime prevention messages, as they made appearances at schools and clubs. The pair even leant a hand in supporting a community project that aimed to combat anti-social behaviour in Hitchin.
Since he retired, Brewster enjoyed many holidays and trips to the seaside with Dave and his partner.
PC Pert said: “We are so grateful that Brewster came into our lives. He was truly a legendary dog, renowned across the three counties for his incredible nose. Indeed, officers were still requesting his services long after he retired!
“He was a brilliant asset to the unit and I am glad he had time with us to enjoy his retirement. He loved coming away with us in the caravan and he particularly enjoyed people watching – he was a very sociable dog with a great temperament.
“Thankfully his illness was brief, but we will miss him terribly as he was a huge part of our lives.”