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POLICE DOG DAX A HERO FIRST DAY ON BEAT; He collars man after bust-up.

A DOG plucked from the streets to serve with police has been hailed a hero after just one night on the job.

Dax, a two year-old German Shepherd, successfully tracked down an intruder who caused chaos at a city hospital by shouting abuse and smashing windows.

Terrified staff in the accident and emergency department watched the intruder go on the rampage before he disappeared into the night.

And Dax, who just weeks before had relied on scraps from the street to survive, was yesterday enjoying a slap-up supper at police HQ after collaring the thug.

Inspector Jim Leslie, of Tayside Police, said yesterday: "Without Dax, it is highly unlikely that this man would have been apprehended. The dog has already justified the potential he showed during training and we hope his success continues."

A member of the public handed Dax in to Dundee's Brown Street Kennels last December after finding the dog wandering the city streets. Thinking he might be a suitable police dog, staff contacted Tayside Police.

Dog handler Nikki Harrison, in search of her first dog, went to take a look and immediately knew Dax was right for her.

Constable Henderson, 27, said: "There are no guarantees that a potential police dog will be suited to a handler, but I knew Dax was the right one.

"He looked in good condition considering he had been on the streets. It is still a mystery to us why no one claimed him."

After a demanding 14-week training course, Dax and Nikki's first night on duty saw them patrolling the grounds of Ninewells Hospital.

Following a disturbance, the intruder ran off. Dax immediately picked up his scent and followed him through the dark-ness to find him cowering behind a wall.

Constable Henderson said: "Dax didn't waste any time and followed his training perfectly."
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Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Apr 13, 2000
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