A Leicestershire police dog who was injured while protecting his handler has been honoured with a national bravery award.
German Shepherd, Astro, received the ‘Outstanding Bravery Award’ after jumping to defend his handler, PC Grace Feavyour, during a confrontational arrest in 2021.
While on shift, the pair were called to respond to an incident in which the man believed to be the suspect was still at the scene. As he attempted to resist arrest, Astro jumped to defend PC Feavyour, and was injured as a result.
“It was horrible to watch and I was so worried about him being seriously injured, but thankfully he was okay,” said PC Feavyour, who has been partnered with Astro since 2019.
“I am so proud of him for winning this award. He is an extremely loyal dog and we have a special bond.
“He is such a fantastic police dog and is a fast learner too,” she added.
“During our time together so far, he has had some fantastic results for the force and I feel very lucky to have him by my side.”
During their three years together, the pair have been responsible for tracking down a number of outstanding suspects, locating missing people, uncovering stolen property, weapons and important evidence as part of a murder investigation.
Astro’s bravery award was given to him by the Thin Blue Paw Foundation, which celebrate the work and achievements of serving and retired police dogs across the UK.
Trustee Kieran Stanbridge said: “When confronted with a difficult and volatile situation, PD Astro showed not only how important his training is, but also his bravery and loyalty to Grace.
“Dog handlers have very special bonds and that is illustrated perfectly here. Astro jumped to Grace’s defence without a second thought and, despite being subjected to a violent attack, saw his job through to the end. He’s a worthy winner of the Outstanding Bravery Award!”
Find out more about the Thin Blue Paw Foundation and the awards at: https://www.thinbluepaw.org.uk/awards